Proposed Bill to Dismiss Pending Gun Charges for Offenses No Longer Illegal under New South Carolina Law

Proposed Bill to Dismiss Pending Gun Charges for Offenses No Longer Illegal under New South Carolina Law

Columbia, South Carolina: Some people in South Carolina are being charged with crimes that were against the law until last month but are now legal.

Some politicians want to change that because they don’t think it’s fair.

A new bill is being moved through the State House. Its main supporter calls it a “clean up” of the law that let people carry guns without a permit, also known as “constitutional carry gun law.”

“The police officer stops you for speeding or something, and they ask, ‘Do you have a gun?'” The answer was “yes,” and it would be between the seats, under the seats, or in the bag, said Sen. Deon Tedder, D–Charleston. “Either you would have to keep it in a locked part of your car or in the center console.”

In South Carolina, that kind of thing used to be against the law, and someone would have probably been charged with illegal carry.

But it is no longer illegal because the governor signed a bill last month that lets people carry guns without a permit.

“So person A admitted to carrying a gun without a license two days before Gov. McMaster signed the bill.” Tedder said, “They can get that erased.”

The new law allows that to happen as long as the person was guilty before it became law in early March.

But it doesn’t take into account people who are still facing charges of illegal carry that have been thrown out by the new law. This bill would get rid of those charges.

Sen. Tedder said, “The goal is not to find a way to just throw cases away.” “This is the right thing to do to protect people who legally can carry a gun anywhere, so they don’t have to plead guilty.”

Tedder said that this would also help clear up a backlog of unlawful carry charges that lawyers are working on, which would make their desks less crowded.

One thing is that if that charge of illegal possession was used as probable cause for another crime related to the same event, this bill would not get rid of those charges.

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary heard from the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association on Wednesday that it has some worries about this bill.

As it is written, this bill doesn’t let police or attorneys go through every case, look at it, and decide what to do for each one. We believe that that goes against the split of powers in this state,” Sally Foster, Executive Director of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, said.

There are just over two weeks left in the congressional session, so this bill needs to move quickly through the House Judiciary Committee and pass in the House of Representatives. If it doesn’t, it will not be considered again until 2025.

But the bill is going much faster than most. It was only filed last month, but it has already been passed unanimously by the Senate.

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