Concealed Weapons Bill in SC House

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January 24, 2006
In South Carolina, a new bill has been introduced to the House that would make getting a concealed weapon a bit easier for domestic violence victims. News 12 sits down with one woman who supports the bill and others who say it all depends.

“I have been choked, I’ve had my nose broken, had a rib broken,” said Peggy Bowser.

After twenty-five years of domestic abuse, Peggy Bowser’s glad she made it through.

“My husband had Alzheimer’s related dementia. He had gotten extremely violent toward the end,” Bowser said.

That’s when Peggy got an order of protection from a judge.

“She told me when she gave it to me, it was a piece of paper, nothing more than a piece of paper,” Bowser said.

A bill has been introduced in the house that would allow the state law enforcement division to issue an emergency concealed weapons permit to someone whose life is in danger instead of 90 days to get one, it would take two.

News 12 spoke with Aiken County House Representative Roland Smith. He says he supports getting one of these concealed weapons quicker, but only if a person could prove their life was in danger and only if they’d had the proper background check.

Jim Moates has been selling guns for 35 years in downtown Aiken. Before he sends his customers home with a concealed weapon, they must be 21, fill out a criminal check form and take 8 hours of training. Jim says you can’t train in two days.

“I mean somebody ought to be well familiar with all the safety aspects and everything else and make certain you ought to be good up here,” Moates said.

Peggy agrees, but hopes the bill passes.

“For the 40 plus victims who died of abuse at the hands of an abuser, that gun might have saved their life,” Bowser said.

Peggy’s husband died before he could answer to charges of criminal domestic violence.

Another part to this bill, a judge that issues an order of protection must inform a victim verbally and in writing that they are eligible to apply for the emergency permit.