Why Aren't More People In South Carolina Open Carrying?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Plan2Live, Mar 6, 2022.

  1. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Openly carrying a handgun in South Carolina became legal August 1th, 2021. Leading up to the passage of that Bill there was a virtual barrage of commercials, guest appearances and entire segments on local talk radio devoted to demanding SC legislators pass the open carry law. Two of the local talk radio hosts were adamant that we needed this new law. Callers were calling in voicing their support for this law. Certain lawmakers claimed, on air, that their phone lines and social media accounts were jammed with supporters of the Bill urging them to vote to pass the Bill. The House and Senate approved the Bill and the Governor signed it into law.

    Not being a fan of open carry, I anxiously waited to see how people would react once it became effective. Since the day it became legal to do so in South Carolina I have seen exactly one person open carrying a handgun. That was roughly nine hours after the law went into effect. Since that time, I have not seen a single person openly carrying. I have asked “gun friends” if they have seen anyone open carrying and not one has reported seeing anyone open carrying in public.

    As I said above, I am not a fan of open carry, I see fewer practical or tactical advantages to open carry than the practical and tactical advantages of carrying concealed. I Also believe our (SC) existing concealed carry laws could have easily been amended with language addressing and allowing “momentary and unintentional” exposure of a concealed handgun to cover those moments where a CWP holder’s cover garment blows back in the wind or rides up as they reach for an item on the top shelf in a store. This seemed to be one of the loudest arguments for passing open carry but I have yet to hear from any of my friends in SC that carry that they have ever been called out for momentarily exposing their concealed firearm.

    So my question is this, if so many people in South Carolina were chomping at the bit to pass open carry legislation, why aren’t more people in South Carolina open carrying?

    Yes, I am aware that the Bill that passed is a compromise Bill but that does not negate my question.
     
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  2. Bill_in_TR

    Bill_in_TR Member

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    To be truthful I must confess to being an ignorant dummy. I live in SC and was unaware such a law has passed. What is the nature of the compromise about the bill?
     
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  3. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    We can OC here too. Most folks CC though.
     
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  4. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Open carry of handguns was made legal in Texas several years ago. The only thing I saw happen was new legal signage available for companies to specifically prohibit open carry on or in their premises.

    I still can't remember seeing anyone open carrying anything around here since the law was passed. Seems like it's mostly a talking point, not something that people actually do in the non-rural areas.
     
  5. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    Wisconsin has had an Open Carry law like forever. Outside of Hiking or Hunting I think I have seen maybe four people open carrying in the last 10 years. All except one was carrying obviously for attention.
     
  6. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    The original Bill was for Permitless Carry, some call that "Constitutional Carry" which is an inaccurate phrase.
     
  7. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    In an important sense, the law un-prohibited "showing", meaning it's no longer a crime to break concealment. That's good, and prohibiting showing was always stupid.

    In rural contexts, open carry is perfectly sensible, but "in town" I can't imagine any reasonable person deciding it's the better everyday option. It makes you the focus of the room, even moreso than blue hair or an obscene tshirt, and that focus is avoided by competent adults under almost all circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2022
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  8. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    We have a local who OC'S. He has everything on his belt. But the kitchen sink lol.
     
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  9. cc-hangfire

    cc-hangfire Member

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    Georgia allows open carry as well. In the last ten years I’ve seen open carry less than a handful of times. One fellow had come from the woods or the field, and another was carrying small-of-back and had removed his jacket. The few others were making a statement.

    It’s all fine with me, but the vast majority of us who carry do so for personal and family protection. For that, good tactics means concealed carry. As the OP mentioned, legal open carry is great for the occasional inadvertent exposure of a firearm that’s bound to happen.
     
  10. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I have been carrying concealed for a very long time and never once OC'd in public ... and never plan to.

    ... but ...

    I very much like the fact that in Virginia it is legal for me to OC.

    Perhaps most gun-toting folks in SC share the same mindset. :)
     
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  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    In TX - San Antonio, Austin, Rock Springs - I saw 3 people who were OC. I regard that as most people having common sense. The three carriers were not impressive and were easy pickings if you were so motivated.
     
  12. Bill_in_TR

    Bill_in_TR Member

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    Well thanks for the clarification. I like it purely for the notion that I need not be concerned about printing or inadvertent exposure. Personally I would rather no one knew I was carrying.
     
  13. Night Rider

    Night Rider Member

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    I'd rather open carry was legal than not but I have no interest in participating.
     
  14. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Printing was never illegal in SC. As my then 11 year old commented once, it's called concealed carry, not invisible carry. As for inadvertent exposure, as I said in my original post, that could have easily been handled by simply inserting some language in the current CWP laws without opening the door for full on open carry. Even before this change SC had numerous named exceptions where open carry was legal, such as; on the premises of your business, when hunting or fishing or at a gun range just to name three.
     
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  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It's been legal here in GA for a while. I do occasionally see people doing it. Prefer not to as a general rule, but like the option of it being legal. Most of the time CC means a smaller gun. If I ever felt the threat was great enough to justify a full-size gun carrying it OC would be a lot easier.
     
  16. Ralph III

    Ralph III Member

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    "Constitutional Carry" is defined and accepted as permit-less carry. The Constitution guarantee's you the right to carry a firearm, without any mention of having to have a permit to do so, so how is that term inaccurate?

    Ralph
     
  17. Bill_in_TR

    Bill_in_TR Member

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    Like I said, I'm the ignorant dummy here. I should be more intimately familiar with my state's laws. I have thus far just simply made sure my weapon was well concealed. I even choose my gun and holster with that in mind. But it is a genuine interest in summer when light clothes are worn and circumstances may require.
     
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  18. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    I look at as a step closer to getting permitless carry law in place. Just like the anti-gun people practice, incrementalism.
     
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  19. Coyote3855
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    Coyote3855 Contributing Member

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    I don't open carry and not excited about seeing others who do. But any time there is a removal of restrictions on the ownership and use of firearms, count me in. Shall not be infringed.
     
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  20. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    No fan either, but every less restriction is a win.

    If worst comes to worst and a trade off is absolutely necessary, better to have something like that to give up rather than something more important.
     
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  21. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    My take is that it opens the options to carry when concealed carry is impractical or impossible, when it is still within the confines of where it is legal to carry. I think most who carry concealed will continue to do so, for a couple of reasons I can readily think of, and probably lots more I haven't considered. 1- Much of the non-gun-friendly public will make an issue of it when they see an openly displayed gun, even when it is within the law. They will confront the owner, or call 911, or become "Karens", forcing a situation that could otherwise be avoided with a concealed carry. 2- Some less savory characters may see it as a challenge, creating another situation that might be avoided if the gun were concealed.

    Given the choice, I will continue to carry concealed when possible, for both the above reasons, plus, I become an unknown quantity if ever confronted with a situation I can't avoid or talk my way out of. If I'm out for a hike, or in a situation where concealment is uncomfortable or impractical, then I can rest easy knowing I can carry openly.
     
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  22. Electricmo

    Electricmo Member

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    Outside carry makes the public decide if your the good or bad guy. Concealed carry takes their need of decision making away.
     
  23. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    In answer to the OP:

    A lot of people support OC from the standpoint of rights and freedoms.

    However, a lot of people who support rights and freedoms don't carry at all.

    And a lot of people who do carry choose to carry concealed for various reasons even when they have the option to carry openly.

    It's been legal to OC in TX for some time now and I've only seen one person doing it and he could very well have been an off-duty or non-uniformed LEO.
     
  24. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Because it's good to have that right even though you don't personally plan to exercise the right. We have permitless open carry here in Virginia but I hardly see anyone actually open carrying. Which is as it should be. Open display of weapons tends to "scare the horses" and riles up the soccer moms. (If you see someone open carrying here in the DC suburbs, the automatic assumption is that they are some type of law enforcement officer.)
     
  25. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Saw, like back in October '21. maybe a dude in the East FW Target with a Glock in OC. Nothing else remarkable about the dude, and there was no public outcry or the like. It was just "dude with a glock." Probably the only reason I noticed was that I was paying more attention with the License-less carry having passed in September.

    The "thing" about OC for me is in just not having more laws about stuff. It's well past clear that the 20-25 thousand gun laws in the US are about 20K too many. In a sensible world we'd have around five, maybe ten, laws, total.

    What really annoys is that "we" need a new law to make a thing "legal" rather than simply repealing contradictory language, or editing with clarifying language. Sigh.

    OC, to my mind--and others are free to differ--is just a way to carry. Circumstances and situations will vary for everyone. I do not see it as a political or defensive statement, really--even if I know those who insist upon such things having to be the case.

    Which may well be the reason it has not been some new very visible "thing" in SC. Also, that makes it a very easy law for wishy-washy legislators to approve.
     
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