‘Open-carry’ bill garners hundreds of supporters at Rock Hill forum

Posted March 4, 2013 10:54 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

A measure making its way through the South Carolina Senate to allow for anyone eligible to own a firearm to carry it in the open without a permit made its own stop in Rock Hill Monday.

Hundreds packed an auditorium at the Baxter Hood Center in support of the measure.In its current form, Senate Bill 115 would do away with the state’s concealed carry laws.

State Senator Lee Bright of Spartanburg sponsored the bill told WRHI he has received a lot of support from the law enforcement community.

York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant was present for the town-hall style forum Monday, but declined to comment on the legislation to reporters.

Supporters like Rob Baker of Rock Hill said the idea just makes sense.

Baker owns a local bicycle shop and told a Senate panel Monday he once pulled a weapon on a man who attempted to rob him. On the other side, Janice Aryes of Rock Hill said the idea was a bad idea and would lead to even more gun violence.

Aryes went on to say that the bill, as it stands now would not have prevented situations like those at Sandy Hook Elementary back in December — or a similar incident if it took place last night at the Baxter Hood Center.

The Baxter Hood Center is owned by York Technical College, a state agency. State law prohibits concealed weapons inside public buildings, banks and schools, among others.

Monday’s forum was the second of five scheduled in the next few weeks.

Lawmakers will hold additional comment sessions in Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Columbia this month.