South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will sign Bill 308 into law Tuesday, which will allow South Carolina residents with a concealed weapons permit to carry their weapons into many businesses, including restaurants and bars. Here's what South Carolinians need to know about the new law.
Do I have the right to order someone with a concealable weapon out of my business?
You can request that a person with a concealable weapon leave the premises or remove the weapon from the premises regardless of whether you have a "No concealable weapons allowed" sign posted or not.
Do I have the right to frisk?
No. Restaurant/bar operators do not have the right to frisk customers, according to Katie Williams-Montgomery of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Can businesses be held liable if a concealed weapon carrier shoots someone on the premises?
If there is no "No concealable weapons allowed" sign posted, the restaurant can only be found liable if there is proof that the restaurant knew the person had a concealed weapon permit and served them alcohol anyway, according to Williams-Montgomery.
If a restaurant has a "No concealable weapons allowed" sign posted, the owner/operator cannot be held liable, she said.
Concealed weapons carriers
Where can I carry a concealed weapon?
You can carry a concealed weapon into any restaurant in South Carolina without a "No concealable weapons" sign posted at the entrance, but you must carry your concealed weapons permit on you.
If I violate any of the bill's restrictions, what are the penalties?
You are guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $2,000 and imprisoned for up to two years.
Can I consume alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon?
No. It is illegal to consume alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon, and you could be fined or imprisoned.
If I go into a restaurant that doesn't have a "No concealable weapons allowed" sign and am asked to leave, do I have to?
Yes, because private businesses have the right to refuse service to any person on the property, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Patrons must comply or face possible further legal action.
Restaurant and bar customers
What signs do I look for to spot a concealed weapon?
It is nearly impossible to spot a properly concealed weapon, according to Richland County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Curtis Wilson.
If gunfire breaks out, what do I do?
Know where the exits are so you know exactly how to get out of the restaurant, recommends Wilson. Stay low, move as little as possible and don't draw attention to yourself.