South Carolina House passes concealed carry reciprocity bill

The South Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday that would allow more out-of-state gun owners with concealed carry permits to legally carry in South Carolina.

The Associated Press reported the measure passed on an 85-23 vote in the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

South Carolina already has reciprocity with 23 states, and under the new bill would add up to 16 new states to the list. Six of those new states would still have to recognize South Carolina’s concealed carry permits before residents of those states could legally carry in South Carolina.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Alan Clemmons, said the first iteration of his bill called for South Carolina to honor permits from all states, but Republican Rep. Eddie Tallon killed that hope with an amendment allowing people to carry only from states that recognize South Carolina’s permits.

“It’s not right for us to allow people to come into our state and carry with a CWP when they won’t allow” South Carolina residents to do so, Tallon said.

Clemmons disagreed, saying, “We shouldn’t disqualify people based on their government’s refusal” to recognize South Carolina’s permits.

With the legislative session ending next week, it will be an uphill battle to get the bill passed this year.