COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – State lawmakers are expected to discuss a proposed open carry law on Tuesday.
The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee plans to talk about a proposal that would allow open carry in the state.
If approved, anyone with a concealed weapon permit would be allowed to openly carry that gun – including on their person and in their vehicle.
Law enforcement officials have argued against an open carry law. They say it could put some gun owners at risk.
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds told lawmakers in February passing the bill would make the jobs of officers more difficult during a situation where a violent crime with a firearm has been committed.
“It also makes it more difficult for law enforcement officers to do their job where large numbers of individuals are openly carrying handguns. It makes it even harder for law enforcement officers to determine who may or may not have just committed a crime or who is and is not a threat to the public safety and officer safety in any given situation,” he said.
Chief Reynolds also noted the recent increase in protests over racial injustice, which often involve opposing groups pitted against each other.
He believes that allowing people to openly carry guns in such situations would raise tensions and could increase the potential for loss of life.
Right now, South Carolina is one of five states without open carry.