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SC House passes open carry bill

The South Carolina House of Representatives
Russ McKinney
FILE - The S.C. House of Representatives

State lawmakers have a long list of Public Safety bills on their agenda for this legislative session. That list includes cracking down on violent offenders being chronically released on bond, stemming the fentanyl epidemic, allowing capital punishment to resume, and pay increases for law enforcement officers. All those bills advanced through the General Assembly this week.

So did a controversial gun bill that opponents claim will make the state less safe. The Republican controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that will allow persons 18 and older to openly carry firearms in the state except where they would be expressly prohibited in places like schools, government buildings, and businesses where owners would opt not to allow them. Current law allows people to openly carry their handgun in public after taking a safety course and getting a state permit.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.