S.C. lawmaker pre-files bill to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry in churches


A South Carolina Legislator has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming session in response to the recent violence in places of worship nationwide.

Rep. Alan Clemmons, who represents Horry County, posted on Facebook about the bill he hopes to see passed.

His post reads:


Early this year, the FBI foiled a planned mass shooting at a Myrtle Beach Synogauge. South Carolina has painfully learned that the sanctity of our places of worship aren’t off limits to psychopaths with a death wish. I recently heard from the representative of a congregation in Charleston that had been considering taking advantage of a state law that authorizes concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders to carry on the premises of a place of worship when approved by its governing body. Without such approval it is illegal for a CWP holder to carry on the premises of their place of worship. The leadership of the congregation decided to put off the decision out of concern for liability that could befall them due to their decision.

I’ve prefiled House Bill 4409, linked below, that removes any such liability in relation to the governing authority of a place of worship making the decision to remove the prohibition against their members exercising their CWP rights.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Do you agree with me that your Pastor, Rabbi, Priest or their governing body should not be held liable for their act to protect their members by authorizing their congregation to exercise their CWP rights at church?"

The incident Clemmons referred to in Myrtle Beach was back in February when Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, of Conway, was arrested for planning an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof".

McDowell is currently awaiting a federal trial on charges of felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

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