Bill letting people openly carry handguns sent to Senate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The House has approved legislation allowing adults to openly carry a handgun in South Carolina without a permit.

Thursday’s vote sent the bill to the Senate, where similar proposals have died.

This year’s bill goes further by allowing people to carry their handgun openly, rather than concealed. It maintains state law on where guns are banned, such as schools.

Its Republican supporters argue the government shouldn’t require a permit for a constitutional right.

GOP Rep. Phil Lowe of Florence says whether people can shoot accurately should not factor into their ability to defend themselves.

Republican opponents included Clemson Rep. Gary Clary, a retired judge, who called it a “bad bill.”

Law enforcement officials have long opposed the idea of letting people carry a gun in public without training.

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