COLUMBIA, SC — The governor announced she will sign the bill that would allow South Carolinians with concealed-weapons permits to carry firearms into bars and restaurants on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
Gov. Nikki Haley plans to add her signature to the bill in a ceremony on the first floor of the State House, she announced on her Facebook page Saturday morning.
The bill would allow patrons to carry licensed concealed weapons into restaurants or bars as long as they do not drink alcohol.
But businesses do not have to allow guns on their property. They can opt out by posting signs announcing they prohibit concealed weapons. Also, patrons carrying guns must leave the business if asked.
The bill also made some changes to the state’s concealed-weapons law, doing away with a requirement that training must take at least eight hours to complete. Under the rule change, military and law enforcement veterans who show proof of training and get their permits faster.
Supporters of the bill say it simply expands gun rights for responsible, well-trained gun owners, allowing them to eat dinner in a restaurant without leaving an unsupervised gun in their vehicle.
Many Columbia bar and restaurant owners said that they will put up signs prohibiting concealed weapons.
Jamie Self & Cassie Cope