As you’ve no doubt seen in the news, many parts of the country are experiencing a push to ban firearms from government buildings. A significant portion of this new “outrage” is media-driven opportunism by gun control advocates. To help sort the legal facts from fiction, let’s take a look at how the law plays a role in securing your rights as a law-abiding gun owner.
The Second Amendment ensures the rights of all Americans to keep and bear arms. But lawmakers have differing opinions on how that applies to the South Carolina Capitol building and other public lands.
Here’s what you need to know about the past, the present, and the future of legally carrying a firearm on the grounds of our state buildings and other government properties.
Have the Carry Laws Changed in South Carolina Since January 6?
Nothing in South Carolina law has changed as a result of the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol with respect to the carrying of firearms on state capitol grounds. Specifically, it was already and still is illegal to carry any firearm or other dangerous weapon of any kind on capitol grounds. S.C. Code §10-11-320(A). In 2008, an exception to this law was passed that allows an authorized person who possesses a Concealed Weapons Permit to park on or underneath the capitol grounds in the parking garage. S.C. Code §10-11-320(B). The firearm or firearms must be locked in the person’s vehicle and must be stored in a place in the vehicle where it is not readily accessible to any person upon entry to or below the capitol grounds.
Should You Be on Alert?
While the law itself has not changed, it seems clear that we are and remain under a heightened level of alert with respect to threats of violence. As a result of other riots and violent incidents, as well as the potential for change at the federal level, a bill was pre-filed in the South Carolina House of Representatives (H3039) in December 2020, prior to the January 6 events at the U.S. Capitol, to make South Carolina an open carry state like many other states across the U.S. If passed, a Concealed Weapons Permit would no longer be required if you are authorized to park on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol.
Concerned gun owners should remain vigilant about this and other potential gun legislation. Stay informed by following local news updates and come back here for future articles on these issues.
For any questions about carrying in and around government buildings, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.