Guns now allowed in South Carolina bars and restaurants

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) — South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Tuesday allowing people with Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) to carry their weapons into restaurants and bars. However, under the law they would not be allowed to drink alcohol and carry a concealed weapon.

“This is not a guns in bars bill, it was never a guns in bars bill. It is illegal to carry and consume alcohol. It was yesterday, it will be tomorrow,” said Governor Haley.

Business owners still have the right to ban patrons from carrying firearms into their establishments.

“If a restaurant does allow concealed weapons, a criminal is less likely to go into a restaurant knowing that there are people who are protecting themselves,” said Governor Haley.

Governor Haley believes with this law crime rates will go down.

Below are all the details of the new law:

  • Allows a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) holder to carry a firearm into an establishment that serves alcohol, although that person cannot consume alcohol if carrying.
  • South Carolina will be the 46th state that has some form of legal carry in restaurants and other establishments that sell alcohol.
  • Allows an owner to ban individuals from carrying firearms in their establishment.
  • Removes proof-of-residency requirements and expands the range of acceptable photo identification that may be used when applying for a CWP.
  • Eliminates the 8-hour training requirement for a CWP handgun course, but maintains the topics that must be covered in that class.
  • Waives the CWP training requirements for individuals that can prove they have completed military basic training or are a retired law enforcement officer that can prove graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
  • Deletes the assumption of applicant endorsement by a local sheriff if the sheriff chooses not to comment on a CWP application.
  • Simplifies the permit renewal process, eliminates fingerprint checks for renewals, and increases the renewal time to five years.
  • Allows SLED to engage in electronic communication with an applicant.
  • Upon signature, SLED will provide all states with an update of our law.

The governor’s office says this bill renews South Carolina’s commitment to 2nd amendment rights, but also maintains the commitment to safe and responsible carry. They believe these administrative changes will allow SLED to manage information and contact CWP holders more effectively.

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