Bill letting adults openly carry guns sent to House floor

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A bill allowing adults to openly carry a gun in South Carolina without a permit is heading to the House floor.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 15-7 Tuesday to advance the bill that lets anyone who can legally buy a gun carry it around in public. Businesses could still post signs keeping weapons out. And state law barring guns from schools and other places would remain.

Supporters say the government shouldn’t require a permit for a constitutional right. House Judiciary Chairman Greg Delleney noted the bill applies only to handguns.

Similar bills have died repeatedly since 2001. Law enforcement officials have consistently opposed allowing people to carry guns in public without training.

Democratic Rep. James Smith of Columbia says it’s foolish to think the bill would make citizens safer.

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