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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Guns tear holes in our state

Charlotte Baxter

Imagine walking down King Street, shopping and enjoying the day. Suddenly, you see someone as young as 18, carrying a firearm in public, just completely and totally visible for the world to see.  No permit, no training, no background check. Nothing.

That’s how the state of South Carolina will look after new legislation passed on March 7.

South Carolina became the 29th state to pass what is known as a Constitutional Carry Law, lifting the restrictions on gun owning, and making it easier for residents with no education on guns whatsoever to own and obtain a gun. Sounds a bit scary right? The scariest part of this law is the lack of restrictions.

A carrier has to be 18, which makes sense, because they’re technically an adult, but what doesn’t make sense is how much easier the state made it for people to obtain a gun. No eight hours of required training, no permit, no background check, literally nothing. They just have to be 18.

They are also no longer required to attend gun training, but have instead made it free for people to go to if they please. This training will be held twice a month in every county, but is paid by taxpayer dollars. This differs from the current concealed carry law, which still requires residents to receive a permit through the State Law Enforcement Division and go through proper training.

Even the CWP age was lowered to 18, as it was previously 21, and residents with the permit are no longer required to present their permit.

But as long as the gun is visible on the person, no training is required. The idea of free training sounds like a good idea, but now that it’s no longer an incentive, no longer required for people to learn how to correctly handle a gun, there is little incentive to go. It doesn’t matter that it’s free; it’s not required so who’s going to waste their time going to something not required.

In South Carolina alone, the pediatric firearm death rate is 40 percent higher than the national average and half of the deaths were homicide. Deaths between the ages of 15-17 are three times higher than those found in ages 10-14.

This makes the jobs of our police force, people who are put through weeks of training, even harder. People no longer have to tell officers if they have a gun on them. In cars, the guns can be stored absolutely anywhere, whether it’s concealed or not. This means in a cup holder, the dash, or just in the seat.

With this, officers also can no longer stop an individual just because they are carrying a gun on them. Previously, officers were allowed to stop people to make sure they had a permit on them, and now the only reason they may stop someone is if they believe a crime is taking place.

Many police chiefs across various counties have expressed their concerns about this law, specifically on how to handle situations where multiple people are armed, and assessing the “good” vs “bad” people becomes blurred.

Now almost anyone can walk around downtown, one of the most popular and family-friendly cities, with a gun in their hand, and it’s perfectly legal. How is this supposed to protect our citizens?

However, some good from this law is the tougher penalties. Of course, people can’t have a gun in places such as schools, and the penalties will be higher if caught. But again, even higher penalties won’t stop some people.

However, this law could potentially create more bad than good. So many people will be walking around untrained, unrestricted with certain guns, and it’ll be perfectly legal.

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