S 308 Restaurant Carry Passes on Third Reading in the House

Today, the SC Restaurant Carry Bill, S 308 passed on Third Reading by a vote of 100 – 14 and was sent back to the Senate for Concurrence. After an exhausting day of what can best be described as comedy in the House, S 308 was stripped of all it's bad measures (well almost) and sent back to the Senate with amendments.

The only bad part about what remains in S 308 is the prohibition on consuming alcohol. The consumption of a glass of wine with your dinner should not remove your right to keep and bear arms, but that's a battle for another day.

To summarize S 308:

The Bill from the Senate:
  • removed the prohibition from carrying a gun into an establishment that had a license to serve alcohol.
  • had a curfew clause that only made the prohibition repeal valid until midnight
  • had a clause that prohibited the carry inside certain areas which would be characterized as the “bar”
The Bill in the House
  • the curfew clause was removed by amendment
  • the “bar” clause was removed by amendment
  • the fee was raised to $75
  • the criminal penalties for a violation of the CWP laws were tinkered with *
  • additional changes identified in the previous posting
The final House version
  • the fee increase was removed by amendment
  • the criminal penalties were reverted back to what they currently are now *

Had the bill remained the same as it was when it was passed in the Senate, it would now be on it's way though ratification and onto the Governor for her signature. My preference, however, because the bill as passed in the Senate was amended in the House, it needs to go back to the Senate. This where things get a little sticky. I have been very critical of those parties who pushed to have the bill amended in the House to remove the curfew. This may well have killed the bill simply by putting more steps into the process that cannot get done in the time allowed. If this turns out not to be the case, I'll blog my apologies to them here.

There is only a day in the session. A previous blog post identifies the path the bill may take when sent back to the Senate, which is likely to take more than a day. On June 5th, S 744 passed in the House, which would call both bodies back to Columbia for a special legislative session. It's been speculated that this session would, in addition to dealing with the state budget which is still in limbo, allow the bodies to deal with “measures that have passed both chambers”. I don't see that anywhere in the language of S 744, but may have missed it.

Either way, the previous post contains a list of all the Senators that previously voted yes on S 308. It's time to contact them again.

* The current bill allows for criminal penalties as follows:

  • a person entering a property with a properly placed sign may only be charged with trespassing (16-11-620) – $200 or 30 days in jail
  • a person entering all other prohibited locations may be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both (misdemeanor)
  • a person carrying concealed in a restaurant and consuming alcohol must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both (misdemeanor)



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