Amending South Carolina’s CWP Law
Currently, the law pertaining to Concealed Carry in SC does not permit a CWP holder to carry into any establishment that serves alcohol. This eliminates your ability to carry into most restaurants or to carry while out if you possibly might be planning on stopping into a restaurant that serves alcohol.
A Bill was introduced last year in the SC House that would have amended the current statute to permit concealed carry into establishments that serve alcohol provided (1) you don’t carry where posted according to current law, (2) you leave the establishment when asked to leave by the owner, (3) you don’t consume alcohol. That Bill (H 3292) was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and never made it out. H 3292 remains “alive” because the session goes through this year (June). At that time, if it has not been acted upon by both the House and the Senate, it will die.
I have been working with Senator Mike Rose over the session recess to have him introduce a similar Bill into the SC Senate to try to get this process revived and moving. Last week, my Bill (S 1255) was introduced by Senator Rose and received first reading before being referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For a Bill to be passed into law in SC, it must be read and voted upon three times in each body of the legislature and then signed by the Governor. With these Bills, we need either one to be voted out of its respective Judiciary Committee and then addressed by the floor of each body another two times.
The reality of all things legislative right now is that time is working against us; right now the SC Legislature is consumed with budgetary issues and will find little time to address our concerns with this Bill unless we apply pressure. To effectively move these Bills along we need to target that pressure effectively at the correct “pressure points” along the way. Right now the appropriate pressure point(s) will be the respective Judiciary Committee chairman. The Chairman of a committee has the power to call a vote on any Bill in that committee. He is the only one that can make that happen right now.
We have a better chance if we just focus on S 1255 right now because it is a shorter Bill focuses only on the issue of establishments that serve alcohol. Therefore we need to concentrate on the Senate Judiciary Committee right now. Therefore, I am asking all CWP holders to please call / contact the Senate Judiciary Chairman Glen McConnell and ask him to please do whatever it takes to get this Bill out of the Judiciary Committee.