Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Open Carry in SC - Local Ordinances Criminalize It

  1. #1
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Anderson, SC
    Posts
    531

    Open Carry in SC - Local Ordinances Criminalize It

    When a discussion of H.3292 is started, there is always a person that asks if the bill will legalize open carry in SC. From my research, the answer is yes, but not in all cities or counties.

    We have all seen where H.3292 does not restrict carrying a firearm openly if the firearm is not being used in a crime:

    Section 16-23-20.

    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person shall not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of a loaded or unloaded handgun.
    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_...bills/3292.htm


    BUT...Some cities and counties seem to have ordinances that make carrying a handgun, concealed or not, a crime. The only reason carrying concealed is not a crime in those cities and counties is because of section 23-31-510 the in SC Code of Laws.

    LOCAL REGULATIONS

    SECTION 23-31-510. Prohibition against regulation of certain matters.

    No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance which regulates or attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.

    SECTION 23-31-520. Power to regulate public use of firearms; confiscation of firearms or ammunition.

    This article does not affect the authority of any county, municipality, or political subdivision to regulate the careless or negligent discharge or public brandishment of firearms, nor does it prevent the regulation of public brandishment of firearms during the times of or a demonstrated potential for insurrection, invasions, riots, or natural disasters. This article denies any county, municipality, or political subdivision the power to confiscate a firearm or ammunition unless incident to an arrest.
    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t23c031.php

    Pay attention to The Local Regulations section of the SC Code of Law, especially Section 23-31-520. Basically, without a definition of brandishing, or case law about it, cities and counties could look at open carrying as brandishing.

    If H.3293 was passed, or a similar bill, without modification to Section 23-31-520. Then I'm sure the legality of open carrying firearms would depend on what county or city you are in and what the Judge's definition of brandishing is.

    So, as I said here, and another thread, we need to see about getting Section 23-31-520 amended, like adding a definition for brandishing to make it clear that wearing a holstered firearm is not considered brandishing.

    Below are some of the ordinances for some cities and counties that may look at the open carrying of a firearms as criminal.

  2. #2
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Anderson, SC
    Posts
    531
    Most of the listed cities and counties own websites point to these sources to refer the viewer to their local ordinances, so I would think they would be somewhat accurate. Some cities and counties use Municode and some use American Legal Publishing to host there codes:

    Abbeville

    Sec. 12-122. - Possession, manufacture or sale of certain pistols prohibited.

    No person shall carry about him, whether concealed or not, any pistol less than 20 inches long and three pounds in weight, and no person shall manufacture, sell or offer for sale, lease, rent, barter, exchange or transport for sale into the city any pistol of less length and weight.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/124..._S12-121CACOWE


    Belton

    Sec. 26-124. Firearms; carrying; exceptions.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about the person, whether concealed or not, any pistol, except as follows:
    (1) Any person carrying a permit issued by lawful authority, pursuant to state statutes.
    (2) Marshals, sheriffs, police officers or other law enforcement officers, or peace officers of the federal government or other states when they are carrying out official duties while in this state.
    (3) Members of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard, organized reserves or the state militia when on duty.
    (4) Members of organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms from the United States or this state, or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting or collecting modern and antique firearms while the members are at or going to or from their places of target practice, or their shows and exhibits.
    (5) Licensed hunters or fishermen while engaged in hunting or fishing.
    (6) Any person regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, repossession or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of that person while possessing, using or carrying a pistol in the usual or ordinary course of business.
    (7) Guards of common carriers, banks and other financial institutions while engaged in that capacity and guards engaged in protection of property of the United States or any agency thereof.
    (8) Any authorized military or civil organizations while parading or the members thereof when going to and from the places of meeting of their respective organizations.
    (9) Any person in his home, or upon his real property, or fixed place of business.
    (10) Any person in any vehicle where the pistol is secured in a closed glove compartment or closed trunk.
    (11) Any person carrying a pistol unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of the changing or moving of one's residence or the changing or moving of one's fixed place of business.
    (12) Any night watchman while engaged in his duties as a night watchman.
    Upon conviction, the weapon shall be forfeited to the city and disposed of in accordance with city policy.
    http://library1.municode.com:80/defa...infobase=14025


    Cayce

    Sec. 28-113. - Possession of unlawful weapons.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person, concealed or not concealed, any pistol, weapon, dirk, butcher knife, case knife six inches or longer, sword or spear, metal knuckles, razor, numb chucks (nunchaku), throwing stars, or any other weapon of offense within the corporate limits of the city, and it shall be the duty of the director of public safety and his assistants to arrest all such offenders.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/105..._S28-113POUNWE


    Columbia

    Sec. 14-102. - Carrying weapons.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about his person any pistol, dirk, butcher knife, case knife, sword or spear, cane, metal knuckles, razors or other weapons of offense within the corporate limits of the city.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/131...OR_S14-102CAWE


    Darlington County

    Sec. 54-73. - Discharge or public brandishment of firearms.

    It shall be unlawful to carelessly or negligently discharge firearms or to publicly brandish firearms on public property.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/127...S54-73DIPUBRFI


    Florence County

    Sec. 22-92. - Surrender weapon.

    Any individual found in possession of any pistol, dirk, slingshot, metal knuckles, razor or other deadly weapons usually used for the infliction of personal injury, except upon his/her own premises, shall immediately surrender the weapon to law enforcement officer and forfeit possession thereof.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/145...OWE_S22-92SUWE


    Forest Acres

    Sec. 10-9. - Carrying of deadly weapons.

    Any person carrying a dagger or similar weapon, switchblade knife, machete, billy club, blackjack, metal knuckles, razor or other instrument with an exposed or retractable blade greater than two (2) inches, pistol or other hand gun, pellet gun, sawed-off rifle or shotgun or other deadly weapon which maybe used for the infliction of personal injury, on or about his/her person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall forfeit such weapon to the city and be fined in the sum of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, or both. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to persons carrying weapons upon their own premises, carrying a weapon with a valid permit, carrying a weapon for duly licensed hunting purposes, or peace officers in the actual discharge of their duties.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/199...GE_S10-9CADEWE


    Fort Mill

    Sec. 24-33. Carrying pistols.
    It shall be unlawful for anyone to carry about the person, whether concealed or not, any pistol, except as follows:
    (1) Marshals, sheriffs, police officers, or other law enforcement officers, or peace officers of the federal government, states, or other municipality when they are carrying out official duties while in this town.
    (2) Members of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard, organized reserves or the state militia when on duty.
    (3) Members of organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms from the United States or this state, or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting or collecting modern and antique firearms while such members are at or going to or from their places of target practice or their shows and exhibits.
    (4) Licensed hunters or fishermen while engaged in hunting or fishing and going to and from their places of hunting and fishing.
    (5) Any person regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, repossession of or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of such person while possessing, using or carrying a pistol in the usual or ordinary course of such business.
    (6) Guards of common carriers, banks and other financial institutions while engaged in that capacity and guards engaged in protection of property of the United States or any agency thereof.
    (7) Any authorized military or civil organizations while parading or the members thereof when going to and from the places of meeting of their respective organizations.
    (8) Any person in his home, or upon his real property, or fixed place of business.
    (9) Any person in any vehicle where the pistol is secured in a closed glove compartment or closed trunk.
    (10) Any person carrying a pistol unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of the changing or moving of one's place of business.
    (11) Any prison guard while engaged in his official duties.
    (12) Any night watchman while engaged in his duties as a night watchman.
    http://library1.municode.com:80/defa...infobase=12798


    Fountain Inn

    Sec. 14-56. Carrying loaded gun.
    It shall be unlawful to carry any loaded gun in the city.

    Sec. 14-58. Carrying weapon.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about his person in the city, whether concealed or not, any dirk, slingshot, metal knuckles, razor or other item used or intended to be used for the infliction of personal injury. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the municipal court from declaring any item a "weapon" for purposes of this section in reviewing all the facts and circumstances of any case brought before it.
    http://library1.municode.com:80/defa...infobase=14415


    Georgetown

    Sec. 16-231. Prohibition against possession of weapons.

    ...
    (d) It is unlawful for any person to openly display or discharge any firearm or deadly weapon upon any street or public way of the city. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting the safe transport of unloaded rifles or shotguns through the city for the purpose of hunting, target shooting or attending organized firearms safety training activities. Additionally, nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting individuals from purchasing or maintaining firearms in private homes or businesses for personal protection as otherwise permitted by law.
    (e) It is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm or deadly weapon upon any school grounds, within any park, playground or public building or public facility within the corporate limits of the city without first having obtained a permit from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or the express permission of the police department.
    (f) Any employee of a public body who has actual knowledge of the possession of a firearm or deadly weapon by any other person upon school grounds or within any park, playground, public building or public facility within the corporate limits of the city has an affirmative duty to report same to the police department. Any failure to report such known possession is unlawful.
    (g) Any person found in violation of any of the prohibitions set out hereinabove shall be punished as set forth in section 1-16 of this Code. For the purposes of this section, each day during which the prohibited conduct occurs or continues shall be deemed as a separate offense.

    Sec. 16-219. Sawed-off shotguns and rifles.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about the person, other than a peace officer in the performance of duty, whether concealed or not, any sawed-off shotgun or rifle, both of which shall have the same meaning, in regard to barrel length, as "sawed-off shotgun" as defined in South Carolina Code 1976, section 23-31-310, and it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or offer for sale, lease, rent, barter, exchange or transport for sale into this city any such shotgun or rifle.
    http://library1.municode.com:80/defa...infobase=10832
    and
    http://library1.municode.com:80/defa...infobase=10832


    Georgetown County

    Sec. 13.8-12. - Unlawful possession of a concealed weapon.

    (a)
    It shall be unlawful for any person, within Georgetown County, except a duly and lawfully elected or appointed law enforcement officer to carry concealed about their person any weapon, except upon his/her own premises.
    (b)
    Any individual found in possession of any pistol, dirk, slingshot, metal knuckles, razor or other deadly weapons usually used for the infliction of personal injury, except upon his/her own premises, shall immediately surrender the weapon to law enforcement officers and forfeit possession thereof.
    (c)
    The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to a person carrying a concealed weapon lawfully or pursuant to and in compliance with S.C. Code 1976, 23-31-110 and 23-31-140, as amended.
    (d)
    Any person in violation of any provision of this section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, or sentenced to not more than thirty (30) days in jail, and forfeiture of the weapon.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/108...3.8-12UNPOCOWE


    Goose Creek

    135.02 CARRYING LOADED FIREARM.

    It shall be unlawful to carry on one’s person, any loaded firearm, except for peace officers, in the performance of their duty, or persons acting in the defense of their lives or property.

    135.03 CARRYING WEAPONS.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about the person any dirk, metal knuckles, razor, pistol, hawkbill knife or any spring or clasp knife, which has a blade more than three inches in length, or other weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injuries. The weapon so carried shall be forfeited to the city upon conviction of a violation of this section.
    http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.d...$anc=JD_135.02


    Greenville

    Sec. 24-261. - Carrying weapons.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about the person, whether concealed or not, any dirk, slingshot, metal knuckles, razor or other weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injury. Possession of a locked blade knife or sporting knife in excess of three inches or greater gives rise to an inference that the device is a weapon used for the infliction of personal injury. This section shall not apply to law enforcement officers while in the discharge of their duties.

    Sec. 24-264. - Possession of loaded rifle or shotgun on public property.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to have any rifle or shotgun in his possession while on or in any public street, alley or other way or any other public property unless the rifle or shotgun is unloaded, broken down and separated; provided, however, this section shall not apply to duly authorized law enforcement officers or members of the active armed forces of the United States, including the reserve and the National Guard.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/131...WE_S24-261CAWE


    Greenwood

    Sec. 28-249. - Sawed-off shotguns and rifles.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about the person, whether concealed or not, any sawed-off shotgun or rifle, both of which shall have the same meaning, in regard to barrel length, as the term "sawed-off shotgun" is defined in S.C. Code 1976, 23-31-310, and it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or offer for sale, lease, rent, barter, exchange or transport for sale into this city any such shotgun or rifle.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/148...S28-249SAFSHRI


    Greenwood County


    Sec. 11-3-1. - Unlawful acts on county property.
    (a)
    It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any of the following acts on any property owned by, leased to, or under the control of the county:
    ...
    (7)
    Possessing any firearm, airgun, explosive or firework except by duly authorized law enforcement officers.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/100...11-3-1UNACCOPR


    I'm taking a break. I will post more later.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    63
    But dosent SChave pre emption laws forbiding cities,counties,etc from making laws regarding firearms?

  4. #4
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Anderson, SC
    Posts
    531
    Quote Originally Posted by dadpharm View Post
    But dosent SChave pre emption laws forbiding cities,counties,etc from making laws regarding firearms?
    Kind of, the following seems to be the "preemption" statute:

    LOCAL REGULATIONS

    SECTION 23-31-510. Prohibition against regulation of certain matters.

    No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance which regulates or attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.

    SECTION 23-31-520. Power to regulate public use of firearms; confiscation of firearms or ammunition.

    This article does not affect the authority of any county, municipality, or political subdivision to regulate the careless or negligent discharge or public brandishment of firearms, nor does it prevent the regulation of public brandishment of firearms during the times of or a demonstrated potential for insurrection, invasions, riots, or natural disasters. This article denies any county, municipality, or political subdivision the power to confiscate a firearm or ammunition unless incident to an arrest.
    As you can see, any county, municipality, or political subdivision, is still able to regulate certain things concerning firearms, per SECTION 23-31-520.

    Anyway, with the wording that the original H.3292 (Mike Pitts' version, not Viers') had, "local" regulation on public brandishment may be a non-issue with open carriers:

    Section 16-23-20

    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person shall not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of a loaded or unloaded handgun.
    As you can see, H.3292 appears to modifies Section 16-23-20 so that carrying a handgun, concealed or not, is legal if the carrier has no unlawful intent.

    That modification, combined with the current preemption statutes, should make most think open carry would be "a go" in SC if H.3292 passed.

    On the other hand, say H.3293 passes (or something similar), I wouldn't be surprised if a municipalities try to use SECTION 23-31-520 against someone carrying openly. I foresee local law enforcement agencies, in jurisdictions where there are local regulations for brandishing firearms, trying to charge open carriers for brandishing.

    I'm not saying that would happen, I'm just throwing this out there to see what others think.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •