SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- As the Open Carry with Training Act will go into effect on Sunday, the Town of Summerville has formed a committee to consider restricting concealed and open carry on town property.
Summerville Mayor Ricky Waring introduced the idea at a Town Council meeting on Thursday night.
The committee is made up of two council members, Walter Bailey and Bill McIntosh, Summerville Police Chief Doug Wright, and Parks and Recreation Director Amy Evans.
“I think it’s a good approach to put a committee together. We can look at [variables in the Open Carry with Training Act] and come up with some recommendations for the mayor and the council,” said Evans.
Evans says that while the committee has not met yet, the goal of their conversations will be to keep everyone safe.
“Public safety is our number one concern. Of course there are some very significant signage requirements that would change those spaces as they are currently that we need to look at and evaluate,” said Evans.
Lieutenant Chris Hirsch, of the Summerville Police Department, thinks that neighbors might be spooked by seeing firearms openly carried in public.
“I think for members of the public it’s almost going to be a culture shock for them. Seeing individuals walk around with an open firearm on their side, we’re not used to seeing that,” said Hirsch.
Summerville Police have been preparing for the changes the new law will bring.
“We’ve set up our telecommunicators, our dispatchers with mock phone calls. Our officers have been doing mock scenarios and we’ve also got some training from SLED where we get called to situations with somebody with an open firearm,” said Hirsch.