CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department is speaking out against a bill that would loosen gun restrictions in South Carolina.
“We’re frankly opposed to this passing through the legislature,” said Sgt. Elisabeth Wolfsen with CPD.
The Constitutional Carry Bill, in its current form, would allow firearm owners to carry handguns without training or a permit.
The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee approved the proposed legislation last week. It advanced to the House floor where it passed a second reading on Wednesday.
According to Sgt. Wolfsen, the law currently requires gun owners to undergo eight hours of training, carry a permit, and pass a background check before openly carrying or concealing a gun.
She said eliminating the first two requirements under H. 3594 would pose a threat to public safety.
“This would really tie our hands in terms of being able to just question really whether people are carrying with a permit, whether they’ve been through a background check. Because they don’t have to have any kind of permit in order to carry it, there’s nothing for us to really check,” said Wolfsen.
Several exceptions outlined in the bill would prevent guns from being carried in certain places.
“An institution or a business that specifically has a sign on its door that, in the window, that says ‘no concealable weapons allowed,’ again, you would be unable, or it would be against the law to carry a gun into that type of establishment,” said Political Analyst, John Brisini.
The police department is encouraging community members to contact their local representatives and weigh in on this bill.
“So, this is something that is inherently dangerous and it really, it binds us in a way that is not good for public safety on the whole,” Sgt. Wolfsen told News 2.