South Carolina on Tuesday became the latest state to allow concealed weapons in bars, making it the most recent victory ground for gun rights activists who have peeled back more than a dozen state-level gun restrictions in recent years.
The new law, signed by Gov. Nikki Haley a week after a man was fatally shot in a South Carolina bar parking lot, allows people holding concealed-weapon permits to carry firearms in places that serve food or alcohol, as long as they don’t drink while inside. The law has a significant exemption: Establishments may enact their own weapon bans, provided they post a large sign in their window warning customers of their policy.
That bar and restaurant owners are now forced into the unpleasant position of potentially alienating some portion of their clientele by either posting a sign — or not posting a sign — is a win for gun groups that for decades have pursued local strategies for rolling back gun laws in states. Thanks to their work, it’s now easier than ever before to carry guns in many public places in the U.S. South Carolina is their latest conquest.
Oklahoma, for example, recently made it easier for residents to openly carry guns in public, and a movement is underway in Texas to enact a similar measure. (It even has the backing of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis). Tennessee, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina have all enacted laws similar to the one just adopted in South Carolina, allowing for concealed-carry in bars and restaurants. Kentucky is also considering legislation.
Source: The Huffington Post