Island Vibes May 2024

n an ongoing effort to expand gun rights, South Carolina recently adopted a new Constitutional Carry Act. The CCA law permits anyone 18 years or older to carry a firearm in public, concealed or not. “And they do not have to have training, they do not have to have a permit and they do not have to have a background check,” said Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett during a Special City Council Workshop on March 12. “Training is available or will be made available by SLED, but it is voluntary.” Cornett added that non-concealment includes any gun in vehicles as well. “Previously, you had to keep it in a compartment that was latched,” Cornett said. “But now it could be anywhere in your vehicle.” And the new law also means that law enforcement officers can no longer stop someone just because they possess a firearm. “That means if they’re out on the beach with a firearm, we cannot stop them,” Cornett said. “We can stop them if we have other crimes that take place and talk to them at that point. But we will continue to have discussions with our legislators and provide feedback on this new state law.” Ratified by Gov. Henry McMaster on March 7, the CCA law went into effect immediately and came after almost 14 months of deliberation by members of the state legislature. The measure passed by a vote of 28-18 in the state Senate and a decisive 86-33 in the House. Chief sponsor Rep. Bobby Cox of Greenville County cited that the new measure “would restore Constitutional freedom, hands down.” “Crime is a big concern for our constituents,” Cox said during a House debate session on Feb. 22, 2023. “People are afraid, and they want to protect themselves, they want to protect their families. And this bill will allow them access to do that.” And officials with the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group founded in 1871, said the new law “strengthens the right to self-defense in South Carolina by recognizing the right of all adults to carry a concealed firearm without first obtaining the government's permission.” Gun owners are advised, however, that the CCA law carries many restrictions, which include: • No public guns permitted in government council meetings • No public guns in courthouses, churches, schools, day care centers and public buildings • No public guns allowed into law enforcement, detention and correctional facilities 6 NEWS New state gun law on public carry changes IOPPD protocol By L. C. Leach III I • No public guns on any premises where medical procedures are performed • No public guns can be brought into any business or place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a firearm • Previously convicted felons are also banned from carrying firearms “If I have something else, I can stop them – and then if I find they are a convicted felon, we can address them under the new penalties that are outlined in the new statutes,” Cornett said. “It can lead up to 30 years in prison if you are a convicted felon and possessing a firearm now.” Cornett also explained that any citizen who visits a place that sells alcohol in which you intend to enter and consume alcohol cannot carry a firearm into the building. But if you are not drinking, then you can carry. When asked his opinion on whether he thought the new law was better, worse or about the same as the previous law, Cornett said only that it falls under the “supporters of the Second Amendment and how far you carry that.” “It is still too early for us to know exactly how we will be impacted,” Cornett added. “We’re the 29th state to pass a law similar to this. And with what we’ve got written, we’ll do our best to make sure we enforce this accurately.” IOP Police Chief Kevin Cornett explains the parameters of the new Constitutional Carry Act that went into effect March 7. JOIN THE VIBE! Part-time/full-time sales opportunities available! Great for flexible summer schedules! CONTACT BILL MACCHIO AT PUBLISHER@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM OR (843) 530-0403 SPREADING POSITIVE VIBES AROUND THE ISLAND D The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. If you love our newspaper consider being part of our sales team!