Alan Clemmons:

Early this year, the FBI foiled a planned mass shooting at a Myrtle Beach Synogauge. South Carolina has painfully learned that the sanctity of our places of worship aren’t off limits to psychopaths with a death wish. I recently heard from the representative of a congregation in Charleston that had been considering taking advantage of a state law that authorizes concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders to carry on the premises of a place of worship when approved by its governing body. Without such approval it is illegal for a CWP holder to carry on the premises of their place of worship. The leadership of the congregation decided to put off the decision out of concern for liability that could befall them due to their decision.

I’ve prefiled House Bill 4409, linked below, that removes any such liability in relation to the governing authority of a place of worship making the decision to remove the prohibition against their members exercising their CWP rights.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Do you agree with me that your Pastor, Rabbi, Priest or their governing body should not be held liable for their act to protect their members by authorizing their congregation to exercise their CWP rights at church?

 Here is the change in the bill (underlined):

SECTION    1.    Section 23-31-215(M)(8) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 123 of 2014, is further amended to read:

“(8)    church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body. Such permission shall not expose the church, religious sanctuary, its officials, or governing body to civil or criminal liability for the act of granting such permission in the event of an incident involving a holder of a permit issued pursuant to this section;”

SECTION    2.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.