South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is just fine with letting citizens carry guns without receiving the permits or training that state law currently requires.
The State reported Tuesday that Haley said she supports a pending bill called the “Constitutional Carry Act,” which aims to eliminate South Carolina’s permitting and training requirements for those who wish to carry firearms either in the open or concealed. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Lee Bright (R), who is mounting a primary challenge to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“Criminals are dangerous, and I think that every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals,” Haley said when The State asked her to respond to some lawmakers’ fears that eliminating those requirements could threaten the public.
Haley, herself the proud owner of a Beretta pistol, signed a bill into law Tuesday that allows licensed gun owners to concealed-carry their firearms into restaurants and bars, provided they do not drink alcohol and the business permits guns on its premises. The governor had said she’d “absolutely” allow gun owners into her bar, if she owned one.
As The State pointed out, while the “Constitutional Carry Act” goes much farther than the restaurant-and-bar bill Haley signed Tuesday, the legislation faces significant opposition in the state Senate and is unlikely to pass.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.