LTR to my Senator-Amending South Carolina Code of Laws Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
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Thread: LTR to my Senator-Amending South Carolina Code of Laws Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    LTR to my Senator-Amending South Carolina Code of Laws Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses

    Good Day Senator Campbell,
    We’ve met a few times in the past. At the Berkeley County Republicans Women’s Anniversary Party as well as the Breakfast Meeting in Goose Creek at the American Legion Hall. You took the time to listen to me concerning our Constitutional Rights of the Second Amendment within the confines of SC Law as it is. Thank you for the time and input given. I also want to thank you for the Leadership you show in the Senate and ask for a continued Leadership in the below request. I have discussed these amendments with Sheriff Wayne Dewitt Thursday night at our latest Goose Creek 9 12 meeting. He agreed with the below and stated that you should contact him if you want to discuss further. I would like to set up a meeting with you, maybe over coffee, in the next week to discuss further.

    I ask that you start the process of amending SC Law to incorporate Open Carry by ALL SC Residents that have Conceal Weapon Permits as well as being allowed to carry in Restaurants that have a license to serve on premises consumption of Alcohol. Both are currently not allowed under the SC Laws below and I believe current Law should be amended to permit. If you have been vetted by the State, completed the mandated course of instruction as require by State Law and are issued a permit to carry a weapon, then this should extend to carrying Concealed as well as Open Carry. Many States have a full Open Carry Statute on their books and not one State has had any issues with citizens afforded the opportunity to openly carry. Our neighbors to the North, North Carolina, is one of many.

    As for Restaurants that serve alcohol, SC Law prohibits carrying weapons currently. I believe that a permit holder should be allowed to carry BUT with zero tolerance for consumption as stated in Section 23-31-400. I do not drink, so abstaining from consumption is not an issue. BUT I feel that a permit holder should not be held to a criminal degree just for wanting to carry protection and dine at a place that serves alcohol. Plus my choices are limited to places that do not serve alcohol now, so I’m being penalized for following the Law. NO CRIMINAL is bound by such restrictions. I would add that the provisions if caught consuming should apply per 23-31-410. If probable cause is established while the individual is at restaurant, the permit holder must surrender to a blood/urine test immediately and must surrender his weapon and permit until adjudicated. If convicted then the provisions of SECTION 16-23-465 would be assessed.

    Please let me know when we can schedule a meeting. I am very interested in going forward with this amendment. I have not as yet reached out to the NRA for additional support but I wanted to set a base line of support prior to involving National Group.


    SECTION 16-23-20. Unlawful carrying of handgun; exceptions.
    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law:
    (4) licensed hunters or fishermen who are engaged in hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing while in a vehicle or on foot;
    SECTION 16-23-465. Additional penalty for unlawfully carrying pistol or firearm onto premises of business selling alcoholic liquors, beers or wines for on-premises consumption.
    In addition to the penalties provided for by Sections 16-11-330 and 16-23-460 and by Article 1 of Chapter 23 of Title 16, a person convicted of carrying a pistol or firearm into a business which sells alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine for consumption on the premises is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    In addition to the penalties described above, a person who violates this section while carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, must have his concealed weapon permit revoked.
    ARTICLE 6.
    USING A FIREARM WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
    SECTION 23-31-400. Definitions; unlawful use of firearm; violations.
    (B) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to use a firearm in this State.
    SECTION 23-31-410. Blood and urine testing.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

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  3. *Edit*
    I just read some of your other posts and it says that you are moving to NC. I hate to see someone who was working to make positive changes leave SC. Feel free to disregard this post since it no longer applies*
    *Edit*

    Mappow,


    I know this thread is a month old now but hopefully you will stop by and comment.

    First, I want to applaud your efforts to generate some legislation to expand our gun rights. It's hard work doing what you are doing and as a Aiken county resident, I thank you.

    I wanted to get some clarification on what you have written to make sure that I am not misunderstanding.


    Quote Originally Posted by mappow View Post
    I believe that a permit holder should be allowed to carry BUT with zero tolerance for consumption as stated in Section 23-31-400. I would add that the provisions if caught consuming should apply per 23-31-410. If probable cause is established while the individual is at restaurant, the permit holder must surrender to a blood/urine test immediately and must surrender his weapon and permit until adjudicated. If convicted then the provisions of SECTION 16-23-465 would be assessed.
    Are you saying that there should be zero tolerance for consumption as in 0.0 BAL (no alcohol at all) or are you saying zero tolerance for "being under the influence" (which is .05 BAL with "competent evidence" or .08 BAL) ?

    Maybe I am misreading you, but it sounds like you want to restrict a permit holder's freedoms pertaining to alcohol consumption while allowing him more freedom in locations that they can carry.


    Currently the law states that it is unlawful to use a firearm while under the influence. Use a firearm is defined as discharging a firearm. Meaning that you can carry and drink all you want - as long as you don't fire the weapon.

    Section 23-31-400 B
    It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to use a firearm in this State.


    Section 23-31-400 A-1
    (1) "Use a firearm" means to discharge a firearm.



    It further states the legal limits of what "under the influence" which is similar to the levels for a DUI.

    SECTION 23-31-420 A-1
    If there was at that time five one-hundredths of one percent or less by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, it must be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol.


    SECTION 23-31-420 A-2
    If there was at that time in excess of five one-hundredths of one percent but less than eight one hundredths of one percent by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, this fact does not give rise to any inference that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired, but this fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.


    SECTION 23-31-420 A-3
    If there was at that time eight one hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, this fact creates an inference that the person was under the influence of alcohol.



    So, under current law you can have as many drinks as you want as long as you don't fire your weapon or you can have a couple of drinks and still fire your weapon. On an interesting note it also says that none of this applies to persons lawfully defending themselves or their property.

    SECTION 23-31-400 D
    This article does not apply to persons lawfully defending themselves or their property.


    So that seems to read like you can drink as much as you want and discharge your weapon as long as you are defending yourself or your property.


    Anyway, I just wanted to make sure that you were not making a law more restrictive while attempting to make it less so.
    Last edited by bhrama; 09-08-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Noticed you were moving out of state

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Santa Fe Area, New Mexico
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    The theme of my action to amend SC Law was to accommodate CC in restaurants as well as the ability to OC anywhere allowable that a CC permit authorizes. If you have a permit to carry then you carry. How you carry should not be limited by the State. (As long as it's a safe manner not to endanger the general public) If I didn't put that caveat in someone would say "Taped to their forehead".
    The ONLY way I see this amendment being even considered is with a zero tolerance of BAC whist in an establishment that serves. Even my State Senator was amenable to OPEN carry but squeamish on the restaurant carry until I told him of the NO consumption/zero BAC whilst dinning. I in no way ever suggested that on your own property ever be changed. This is your castle, this is your right.
    I do believe a massive change, as proposed in this past years bill, reached too far for our elected officials and has morphed into some convoluted mess to be tabled and forgotten about. Keep it simple and enact change step by step. I believe this is more productive.
    As for BAC at any other time while you carry. I think it's insane to mix the two. If alcohol is that prevalent in your life that you see fit to be intoxicated while carrying. You have more issues then just amending State Law. It boils down to a judgement call and we all know your judgement is impaired with intoxicated. JMHO

    Thank you for your reply. It just amazes me no one else in SC really wants to take any kind of action and move forward on ANY amendment. I've stated repeatably, be ACTIVE in your community and government. THIS is your quality of Life. OR don't and be steamed rolled by those that do.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  5. Quote Originally Posted by mappow View Post
    The ONLY way I see this amendment being even considered is with a zero tolerance of BAC whist in an establishment that serves. Even my State Senator was amenable to OPEN carry but squeamish on the restaurant carry until I told him of the NO consumption/zero BAC whilst dinning. I in no way ever suggested that on your own property ever be changed. This is your castle, this is your right.
    I do believe a massive change, as proposed in this past years bill, reached too far for our elected officials and has morphed into some convoluted mess to be tabled and forgotten about. Keep it simple and enact change step by step. I believe this is more productive.
    As for BAC at any other time while you carry. I think it's insane to mix the two. If alcohol is that prevalent in your life that you see fit to be intoxicated while carrying. You have more issues then just amending State Law. It boils down to a judgement call and we all know your judgement is impaired with intoxicated. JMHO

    Thank you for your reply. It just amazes me no one else in SC really wants to take any kind of action and move forward on ANY amendment. I've stated repeatably, be ACTIVE in your community and government. THIS is your quality of Life. OR don't and be steamed rolled by those that do.
    Before you can mistake my intentions or question my character, let me state that I personally do not approve of handling or carrying firearm while being under the influence of anything for obvious reasons.

    However, I disagree with a zero tolerance approach to alcohol consumption while carrying in a restaurant. While disliking legislation that restricts a citizens behavior, I recognize that a society must do so in many situations. When we must legislate restrictions on behavior, it would be nice if we could shy away (as much as possible) from blanket restrictions that penalize people who are able to responsibly carry out the behavior.

    I believe that the current law as it pertains to alcohol consumption is sufficient. As long as you don't discharge the weapon you may drink. If you do discharge the weapon, you fall under the same guidelines as a DUI. I don't believe that it should matter whether you are in a restaurant or not. Once again, I am not advocating carrying your weapon while getting inebriated. But if you want to go to Outback and have a beer with your steak while carrying, I believe you should be able to.

    As a society, by law, we allow anyone to drink and drive on our roads as long as they are under a .08 BAL. Alcohol consumption in a restaurant is no scarier than that in my opinion.


    All of that being said, I heartily agree with you that simplicity and baby steps are the best way to enact change. We all wanted the legislation that died this year to be an all encompassing thing that "made everything right". But, that got us in trouble and all of the in-fighting just led to nothing being done. We have to remember that the rights were taken away a little at a time, so as distasteful as it may be, we need to get our rights back a little at a time.
    Last edited by bhrama; 09-12-2011 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Spelling

  6. #5
    First I applaud your efforts and very much hope that you along with many others can get the ball rolling on the Restaurant Carry as well as OC. I would like to point out some things that I think may be helpful in your letter but are only my opinion.

    First I find and have been told many times by those in the know that the shorter the letter the more likely it is to be read. Also it needs to be well organized. In your first paragraph you refer to "these amendments" but give no information on what "these amendments" are until possibly farther down in your letter.

    Secondly other that H.3292, which is dead, there are no other active amendments that I know of on either of these points. Rather than trying to get his support on amendments you need to approach him with the possibility of introducting one. For this you will need a face-to-face meeting and that should be what you are looking for. Try to talk him into sponsoring the legislation and when you meet have a proposed amendment ready. Get some others in your district to go with you.

    My opinion only; Right now I think we should be working on the restaurant carry deal rather than multiple changes. After the last boondogle it is going to be tough to get anyone to sponsor gun legislation, especially major changes. Restaurant and school carry are possible right now but OC is going to be tough.

    When you talk don't discuss the zero BAC unless he brings it up. If he does then point out the laws already in place. Lastly, starting with a Senator is tough. You will probably have much better luck with a Represenative to get it started and then work on your Senator to get it passed.

    As I said I applaud your efforts and hope you take this in the spirit as written as it is only my opinion. If you can get somthing going I will work on my Rep as I have spoken with him several times and he is ready to support such legislation but not willing to introduce it quite yet.

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