Tuesday, February 4, 2014
A bill that sits on Governor Nickie Haley's desk, if signed into law will, in my opinion, have serious ramifications. The bill would allow people licensed to carry concealed weapons to take their firearms into businesses that serve alcohol as long as they don't drink. In other words, don't plan on enjoying a glass of wine with that thick juicy steak. I wrote about this issue in May before the S.C. House passed the bill (S. 308) on January 23 by a 90-18 vote. Where I am a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment, there are some points of this expansion of gun rights that cause great concern and honestly, make me very nervous. One point at issue is the new law will allow permit applications to be made online. I don't mean to sound crude here, but I know some people that can't pass a second grade math test, let alone a concealed weapons test. Think about this. If allowed to take the test in the privacy of one's home, who’s' to say they won't be accompanied by a friend lending intellectual "support"? Secondly, a part of the law that should never have been considered for deletion is the eight-hour mandatory training session required to get the permit. In my opinion, that is a crucial and revealing step in the process. I've been in a class where a woman successfully passed the test but when it came to physically handling the firearm, she literally had to have it taken away from her. As for pairing a Porterhouse with a PX4 pistol, you'd better pay more attention to the sign on the wall and the menu. The law would provide the business owner authority to "just say no" by simply providing notice of a prohibition - a prominently displayed sign reading no concealed weapons. If that doesn't work, the proprietor can ask the patron to leave. And if that doesn't work, the offender could end up facing two years in prison, pay a hefty fine and risk having his conceal-carry permit revoked. I suspect Governor Haley will sign the bill, as she is a supporter of open-carry laws and backs the Constitution, which provides for the right to bare arms. However, I can only speculate where this lax law will take us, as I believe it was not subjected to the intense debate it deserved.