State lawmakers and other elected and appointed officials will not get special privileges to carry firearms while on state business.
A bill, sponsored by state Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield, to expand the list of officials allowed to pack heat failed last Thursday. House subcommittee members voted down the measure 5 to 0, saying it isn’t fair to others in the state who have concealed weapons permits.
Instead, subcommittee members said they will work to expand the gun rights of all South Carolinians with concealed weapon permits.
“To carve out a special place for elected officials is a slap in the face to the rest,” said Rep. Dan Hamilton, R-Greenville.
Gun rights groups opposed the measure, too.
“We need to have the same rights as elected officials,” said William Rentiers, executive officer of GrassRoots GunRights, which wants all persons with concealed weapon permits allowed to take their guns wherever they want.
A concealed weapon permit holder has to take eight hours of handgun training and pass criminal and mental background checks. However, under current state law, permit holders, including lawmakers, cannot take their guns into schools, bars, the State House and other locations.
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