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House bill protects gun rights

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By Jim King

Every day, it seems to me, we are slowly losing the right to make our own decisions. It seems the government is making more and more decisions for us. One right I refuse to be denied is the right to bear arms.

It’s refreshing to know there are still people who want to protect our rights. I would like to give a huge thank you to our S.C. House Rep. Deborah Long. She has signed on to sponsor House Bill 3994 – Transportation and Storage of Firearms in a Locked Vehicle.

This bill, if passed, would allow no business or person to ban storing concealed weapons on property designated for parking.

They do have the right to ban us from carrying concealed weapons on our persons into or on their property.

For those of you who don’t know, in this state, we are allowed to hold concealed weapon permits.

Now, they don’t just hand these out like hot cakes. It is a vigorous process in which one must successfully pass an eight-hour course that consists of classroom weapons training and weapons safety training with tests on both.

If you pass, you must then qualify on the firing range, not missing one shot on the target.

Finally, after completing and passing all the tests, you must undergo a background check conducted by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED). About three months later, SLED will issue your concealed weapon permit.

I tell you all this so you know I am not some gun-wielding maniac. I have and deserve the right to protect myself, my family and those I care about if any are put in life-threatening danger.

I cannot stress these next statements enough. This does not mean if you hold a concealed weapon permit, you are in any way allowed to be a vigilante.

It is the sole responsibility of law enforcement to protect us, not concealed weapon permit holders. You can and will be prosecuted for the misuse of your concealed weapon permit.

As the law stands now, people can post signs banning concealed weapons.

Here is where it gets tricky, whether you post a sign welcoming or banning concealed weapons. You or I can be sued as a result of injury on our property. What? This is true, folks.

Let’s say Joe’s Car Wash has a sign banning concealed weapons. If your wife was shot while washing her car, you could sue Joe because he didn’t allow your wife to protect herself.

Now, let’s say Joe’s Car Wash had no sign banning concealed weapons and your husband was shot while washing his car. Guess what? You could sue Joe for allowing concealed weapons on his property. Either way Joe goes, he is not protected. This goes for homeowners, too.

Does this make any sense at all? It sure doesn’t to me.

At this point, some of you are thinking, “Let’s just get rid of guns.” To that, I say: If we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns! Would you rather just have criminals with guns? Or law-abiding trained and investigated residents with guns? It’s a no-brainer for me.

Let’s face it: We will never get guns out of the hands of criminals; we have tried and are still trying. It’s just not going to happen.

This bill would change the law so no one could sue anyone for banning or allowing concealed weapons because it would be illegal for anyone to ban storing concealed weapons in a locked vehicle in a designated parking space. You would still have the right to ban concealed weapons in or on your business or property.

The sad thing is I can guarantee when criminals see a “no concealed weapons allowed” sign, they don’t say to themselves, “Oh no, darn it, I have to go put my gun in the car because they don’t allow weapons in here.”

I can also guarantee you that, because concealed weapons permit holders abide by the law, when that criminal starts shooting, we won’t be able to protect our own God-given lives or the lives of our loved ones. Those signs only apply to us concealed weapons permit holders and law-abiding citizens.

Criminals don’t obey the law, so what makes people think that a sign would stop them? Remember this the next time you see a “no concealed weapons sign” – only criminals will have weapons in this place, not the good guys. Don’t you feel safer knowing that?

Again, thank you, Rep. Deborah Long, for trying to give us a little more of our freedom back, one bill at a time. Please keep up the good work in Columbia.

Folks, please tell your representatives on the county, state and federal levels that we want our rights and freedoms back.

Support House Bill 3994. Look the bill over for yourself at www.scstatehouse.gov under H.3994. Make your own decision.