Florence City Council votes to restrict open carry in city buildings, permitted events

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The Florence City Council voted to restrict the open carry of weapons in city buildings, city vehicles and permitted events.

The state’s “Open Carry with Training” law went into effect in August. The law requires a person to go through the training to get a concealed weapon permit in order to open carry, but it waives the $50 fee for the permit.

RELATED COVERAGE | Gov. McMaster signs SC Open Carry With Training Act into law

The South Carolina Code of Laws gives cities the authority to make certain exceptions to the open carry law.

Concealed carry was already illegal inside of city buildings, but the new law amends the language to prohibit open carry inside of city buildings and vehicles.

In a matter of weeks, 50,000 people will once again return to downtown Florence for the Pecan Festival.

Leaders were concerned the open carry of weapons could create issues at the festival and other permitted events like protests.

Mayor Pro Tem George Jebaily said other cities like Greenville and Columbia have already passed similar laws to restrict open carry at permitted events.

Council will meet again in November to vote on a second reading of the law.

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