From the BlogSubscribe Now

No Concealed Weapon signs means no business from me

I went to the Goodwill store on Rivers Avenue, just after Remount road on Sunday afternoon.  Katy and I were on our way back from church, and I wanted to see how the Goodwill Technology Center was doing.  I do volunteer work for a non profit in Charleston and I send a lot of folks that need low cost technology hardware to that location.

The parking lot was full for a Sunday afternoon, and I found a place to park near the front door.  Katy and I walked up to the front door and I was greeted by a “legal” No Concealed Carry sign on the front door.  That means that I , as a legal concealed carry permit holder have to disarm myself to go into this business.  Despite my urge to get in the car and wait on Katy to finish her shopping, I disarmed myself so I could complete my mission.

In South Carolina you can go to an 8 hour class , in which an NRA trained instructor, teaches you the state gun laws, and you spend time on the range proving your proficiency with a hand gun.  Basically you have to prove you can hit a paper target up to 50 feet away with both hands.  You shoot 50 rounds and do it with the gun range instructors guidance.  The 8 hour class is a bare minimum requirement from the state.  You also get yourself fingerprinted at the local Sherriff department on Leeds Avenue.  Those prints are then sent to the FBI where your prints are compared to their database to make sure you are not wanted or have a criminal background.  While you are at Leeds avenue you are in a locked room with the deputy who also searches their County database to see if you are currently wanted in their system.

Once the background check is done your concealed weapons permit application is sent to the same local Sherriff for their approval or disapproval of your permit.  Once he or she signs off on it. the application goes back to SLED for their approval. and to either send you the permit or deny it.  This process takes up to 90 days to happen.  Not everyone is able to get a concealed weapons permit.

More and more people are finding the need to be able to carry a concealed weapon on themselves, for their protection, and protection of a loved one.  In South Carolina you can carry a handgun in a container, that can be locked such as your glove box or center console, or trunk in your vehicle.  You do not have to have a CWP (concealed weapons permit)because of the Castle Doctrine that the state legislature enacted many moons ago, basically states that your vehicle is covered.  The Castle Doctrine basically states, that your home is your castle, and you have a right and privilege to defend it against intruders, and that you do not have to retreat in the face of an intrusion.

The Concealed Weapons Permit does not mean that you can carry a concealed weapon anywhere you please.  You can not carry your concealed weapon into a school or government building.  You can not carry it when you go vote or into government buildings, childcare facilities or medical facilities.  You also can not carry a concealed weapon into a restaurant or bar that sells alcohol for on site consumption.  You can not carry a concealed weapon into a business if they are displaying a legal sized sign with a handgun with a line drawn through it with a circle and says “No concealed weapons allowed”.

If you carry a concealed weapon in any of these places, and you are caught, you lose your CWP permit and you are fined and can go to jail.  That means that if I really want to go to King Street Grill on Wednesday for a half price burger I have to disarm myself.  If I want to go to the Goodwill Technology center to buy this or that I have to disarm myself.  When we went into Goodwill, as in most stores, there are no security measures in place to protect you.  No armed security officers, no police, no nothing.  That means that you are disarming yourself so that you can have the pleasure of obeying the law and spending your hard earned money in that establishment.

The only problem with this scenario is that criminals do NOT obey the law and they carry concealed weapons wherever they go.  When business owners display the no concealed weapons signs on their business that is advertising to criminals that everyone is disarmed, and that they can safely go in and rob the place.  They do not have to worry about being met with any type of resistance from a legally armed citizen.  I believe that the state laws need to be amended, so that folks who are legally able to carry a concealed weapon can do so in restaurants and businesses like Goodwill.

If you look at the state laws online you will see that restaurants that sell alcohol on the premises are NOT listed as one of the places you can not carry a concealed weapon.  That prohibition is listed in a completed different section of the state law.  You have to do some digging to find it, but it is there.  I believe that the law should stipulate that if you want to consume alcohol, then you can not legally carry a concealed weapon.  If you want to enter the establishment and have dinner with your family and you are NOT sitting at the bar, then you should be able to carry a concealed weapon with a state issued permit.

I also believe that businesses should be allowed to prohibit the ILLEGAL carrying of concealed weapons but also allow LEGALLY licensed permit holders to carry.  As it stands it is either you can or you can not. How can we change these laws?  By communicating with our state law makers in such a way that they will make changes to the language of existing laws or passing amendments.  That is why it is so important to educate yourself on what the law says.  You can do this by joining the NRA or local gun clubs or state organizations that can help us to effect these much needed changes.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter