Gov. McMaster signs open carry bill into law

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AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – John Haddon became a gun owner about 6 months ago. For the disabled South Carolinian it means protection.

“I can’t fend for myself so I just carry a gun for my protection,” Haddon said.

South Carolina’s new Open Carry with Training Act would allow concealed weapons permit holders like Haddon to openly carry a firearm.

“It’s more beneficial to have an open carry law than it is to be able to buy a gun and then say ‘well you can’t have it wherever you go’. That’s like saying you can have an umbrella, but you can’t use it if it’s raining,” owner of Sons of Freedom Firearms Addison Brown said.

The act was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster Monday, but will not go into effect until August 16.

The law only allows gun owners with training and a concealed weapons permit to openly carry a firearm.

“It’s more beneficial for a civilian that doesn’t have open carry or a CWP to know that there’s legislation that will protect their rights as much as the person carrying a firearm,” Brown said.

The law does not change who can carry a firearm or where you can carry it.

However, Haddon said it could mean being able to protect others in the case of a shooting.

“If someone was to come in and start shooting, I would have something for everybody’s protection. Maybe I could save somebody’s life one day.”

Photojournalist: Christopher Shipman

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