McMaster supports letting people openly carry handguns

McMaster (File)

Gov. Henry McMaster supports legislation allowing adults to openly carry a handgun in South Carolina without a permit.

McMaster's spokesman Brian Symmes said Friday the Republican governor thinks the bill is constitutional and would "sign it if it reaches his desk."

That is unlikely to happen this year.

The House passed the bill 64-46 last week. Opponents included eight Republicans.

Similar proposals have died repeatedly in the Senate. The latest bill goes further by allowing people to carry their handgun openly, rather than concealed. It does maintain state law on where guns are banned, such as schools.

Its Republican supporters argue the government shouldn't require a permit for a constitutional right.

Law enforcement officials have long opposed the idea of letting people carry a gun in public without training.

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