Your take on S1255, the bill that would make allowance for CWP holders to be armed inside establishments that serve alcohol, deserves a comment. Worth consideration:
First, CWP holders are, as a group, more law abiding than the public at large with a proven track record from 1996. They’ve paid their money, given up their time, passed two tests and been vetted by SLED. By definition, they play by the rules. Not to say a CWP holder has never done anything stupid, but if the rule says ‘don’t carry a gun and drink’, the CWP holder is statistically more likely to obey it than one without a permit.
Second, the bill does not give CWP holders the absolute right to carry into establishments that serve alcohol. It would allow CWP holders to carry into establishments that serve alcohol only with the owner’s permission. If S1255 becomes law, fearful business owners that like their customers disarmed will still have the right to post a sign saying they don’t allow concealed carry inside, just as they do now. A note to the wise: There is growing evidence that criminals target ‘gun free’ zones. Don’t go into one if you can help it.
The current provision affects more CWP holders than any other and the consequences for breaking it are unduly harsh. Currently, a SC CWP holder convicted of carrying into an establishment that serves alcohol on premises can find himself prohibited by the federal government of ever owning a firearm again. Constitutional arguments against federal intrusion into a South Carolina matter aside, does that sound just?
You called it the ‘Guns in Bars Bill’. I call it the ‘Even People in Restaurants Have the Right to Defend Themselves Bill’. I hope it is soon law.
Steve Cooper, Executive Director
Paladin Training, Inc.