Gov. Nikki Haley Friday signed into law a bill making it easier for South Carolinians with concealed weapon permits to travel back and forth to Georgia.
The legislation’s sponsor Rep. Bill Hixon, R-North Augusta, told South Carolina Radio Network that CWP holders now can travel between the two states without any legal problems. “South Carolina now recognizes Georgia’s concealed weapons permits,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
The Senate’s 35-3 vote last week sent it to the governor. The approval in that chamber came after Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, agreed to pull roughly 80 amendments he had proposed in order to block the bill.
Kimpson was protesting legislators not taking up bills designed to close a background check loophole. Kimpson and argued that loophole (no more than three days waiting period for a gun purchase background check) allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun police say he used to kill nine people in Charleston a year ago.
South Carolina has already had CWP reciprocity with nearly two dozen other states, including North Carolina, but has not previously recognized Georgia permits because the Peach State has looser training requirements. Due to how Georgia CWP law is written, that has also prevented South Carolina permit holders from carrying in that state.
In exchange for ending his filibuster, Kimpson has been guaranteed a hearing on the legislation this summer in Charleston where he will sit on the hearing panel.
Hixon said residents in western South Carolina have sought the change for years.
“It’s been my number one ‘ask’ by my constituents here in my House District 83,” said Hixon. “We had Democrat help and we had Republican help.”