We are with you on this one, Rep. John McCravy.
Like you, we support the Second Amendment. And also like you, we worry more than just a little bit when lawmakers propose allowing gun owners to either openly carry or carry concealed without the need for a permit.
Last week, McCravy, R-Greenwood, told the Index-Journal he had not yet decided whether he would support Anderson Rep. Jonathon Hill’s proposal that would allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without going through the permitting process currently in place in South Carolina. We hope when the time comes he will go with his gut and uphold the permitting process.
As it stands now, it is absolutely possible for a gun owner to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Criminals do it all the time. And yes, we know that will be a key reason some will support permitless carry for law-abiding residents. Even law-abiding residents can carry without a permit, but if the time comes that they use their weapon outside of the home, even in self-defense, they can find themselves in trouble. Seems unfair in a way, doesn’t it?
Criminals don’t worry about getting permits or even getting proper training in the laws, regulations and safety guidelines surrounding gun ownership, but residents who want to exercise their right to protect themselves by carrying a gun should want to be well-versed in the proper use of their weapon. And, as much as is possible, we should be making every effort to ensure guns do not get into the wrong hands -- not just criminal hands, but also the hands of those whose mental stability would call into the question the wisdom of their being armed.
There is a line to walk here. Gun ownership is a right under the U.S. Constitution, a right that, when strictly reading the Second Amendment, comes with no qualifiers, in which case people of all ages, of all backgrounds and in all states of mind would be allowed to own and carry just about any manner of weapon. In fact, they would be allowed to own and carry openly wherever they cared.
We need to apply some common sense when it comes to gun ownership. Requiring gun owners to receive training in the proper handling of their guns is common sense. Requiring them to have a permit to carry is common sense. If they are law-abiding residents who want to exercise their right to not only own a gun, but also carry it for self-defense purposes then they should be willing and able to abide by these relatively simple laws that help ensure they are responsible gun owners.
Let’s keep the carry-concealed permit process in place.