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CWP Expansion and Supt of Education Bills Move to Full Senate

Both approved easily and are expected to pass in the Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two key measures on its docket in a Tuesday afternoon session, moving them both to a full senate vote.

The first item was S.308, which would allow persons with a Concealed Weapons Permit to possess a firearm in establishments that sell alcohol, specifically bars and restaurants. See the full bill here. It passed 15-7.

Sen. Shane Massey (R - Edgefield), one of the sponsors of the bill, said the biggest stumbling block was the gray area between what is considered a bar and what is considered a restaurant. Establishments such as Applebee's or Wild Wing Cafe were not cut and dry as either bars or restaurants. "The bill needs to have language that makes it clear to everyone," Massey said during the hearing.

Katrina Shealy, (R - Lexington), the only woman on the committee and also a sponsor, said that as a CWP holder she would like to be able to protect herself when she has to walk to and from establishments. "It would be a nice option to have," Shealy said.

Opponents of the measure were concerned about the mix of alcohol and firearms. But, Committee Chair Larry Martin (R - Pickens) said there had been concerns the last time CWP rights were expanded and none of those came to fruition.

Shealy said she has received 862 emails from constituents--only one of which was against the measure. Martin told Patch that he had also been contacted by numerous CWP holders in support of the law. He said he believes that there was an organized effort by interest groups to get the bill passed, but was unable to determine which ones were involved.

Martin said that he did not believe the intense interest was a result of the national discussion taking place regarding gun safety, since a very similar bill was presented last year.

The other key item the Committee passed was a measure (S.53, viewable HERE) to remove the Superintendent of Education from ballots and into the cabinet. If passed, the new law would allow the Governor to appoint the Superintendent of Education. The legislation was approved 15-6.

Opponents of the measure--all Democrats--said the reorgnization would give the governor too much power. Sen. Gerald Malloy (D - Darlington) said that in light of the recent problems at the Department of Revenue and the Department of Employment and Workforce, the timing was not right.

Sen. Ross Turner (R - Greenville), used a sports analogy to express his support. "We ought to let the head coach pick his own staff," Turner said.

Since the bill would amend the state's constitution, it requires a two-thirds vote in the full Senate. Martin told Patch he's confident the votes are there for it to pass.

Gov. Nikki Haley described the change as "critical" in her State of the State Address last month.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

ReadIt February 20, 2013 at 03:55 PM
guns in restaurants/bars/whatever are a horrible idea. But besides the fact I'm against it, the bill itself has a huge major flaw. The big argument against banning assault rifles or universal background checks is that "criminals don't obey the law". On top of that, our Legislature, as a majority, supports the idea that gun control is solely a mental health issue. Then, in support of this bill I have heard many legislators say that "CWP holders are the type of people we WANT carrying guns, they're the good people". Here's my question - aren't you making an amazing assumption that EVERY CWP holder not only is a guaranteed healthy (mentally) person, but that EVERY CWP holder also understands, and takes seriously, their alcohol intake. I understand you're not allowed to carry a weapon if you are drinking - but what's to stop a person who's had too much to drink in going to their car and getting their weapon because in their drunken mindset they believe the other guy at the bar made a pass at his girlfriend. The assumption that every single CWP holder in the entire state of South Carolina will always, in every instance possible, obey the law is crazy in and of itself. Coat check, now gun check --- we are becoming the stereotype.
stanley seigler February 20, 2013 at 05:32 PM
re: an amazing assumption EVERY CWP holder is a guaranteed healthy (mentally) person, but that EVERY CWP holder also understands, and takes seriously, their alcohol intake. all facetiousness aside...we need wyatt earp...he understood the consequences of guns and alcohol and banned guns in dodge... all seriousness aside...a repeat from PATCH, USC Student Calls for Gun Rights on Campus: re: '... talking about allowing concealed carry in a setting wherein 30,000 students and several thousand others---faculty, staff, etc.---are jammed together' say there are 5000 armed in the 30000+...and many of the 5000 are to some degree paranoid...what's the odds of some innocent being shot...i'll take an innocent being shot and give 5 to 1 odds...[if 10,000 armed will give 10 to 1,etc] i see the same potential in a town of 30,000...say one of the armed paranoids has a few drinks and someone calls him a redneck... caveat: not saying all armed folks are paranoid...but bet some/many are...ie, 'EVERY CWP holder is NOT, is NOT a guaranteed healthy (mentally) person' FYI Paranoid personality disorder: Individuals with this personality disorder may be hypersensitive, easily feel slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases. [sounds like a few gun owners I know] oh/and how would a road rage argument end...
stanley seigler February 20, 2013 at 05:53 PM
PS re: Shealy said she has received 862 emails from constituents--only one of which was against the measure. Martin told Patch that he had also been contacted by numerous CWP holders in support of the law. and all these shealy/martin supporters are guaranteed healthy (mentally) person, who also understands, and takes seriously, their alcohol intake...wants buy a bridge? the fact they support guns in bars (oppose wyatt earp) say they dont understand the consequences of guns in bars...guns in road rage arguments...so quick to pull a gun and ruin lives of families, friends (of the victim and quick draw)... all victims of the gun mfg/NRA's profits over lives program...lapierre's lemmings opposition to sensible gun control.
Eric February 20, 2013 at 06:33 PM
stanley seigler - always comments, all times, all days - always against conservative values - its like someone is paying him to do so

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