SC Letter of the Law - CWP & Restaurants

This is a discussion on SC Letter of the Law - CWP & Restaurants within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Maybe some of you SC LEOs can answer this: I, and others, that have taken the SC CWP class was taught that we are prohibited ...

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Thread: SC Letter of the Law - CWP & Restaurants

  1. #1
    Member Array Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    SC Letter of the Law - CWP & Restaurants

    Maybe some of you SC LEOs can answer this: I, and others, that have taken the SC CWP class was taught that we are prohibited from carrying in areas that are licensed to sell alcohol for on premises consumption.

    Section 16-23-460 specifically states that a person carrying a handgun lawfully (meaning in accordance with the CWP law) is not breaking that law. Section 16-23-465 is an "enhancement" penalty that only applies if one has broken some other law (such as 16-11-330 or 16-23-460). The theory goes, if you have not broken
    one of these other laws, you cannot be charged with violating 16-23-465, which applies to "penalty for unlawfully carrying pistol or firearm onto premises of business selling alcoholic liquors, beers or wines for on-premises consumption." Notice that it starts off with the words "Additional penalty..."

    I am not seeking legal advise, nor do I have any desire to be a test case but rather how LEO's are trained to handle this.

    The legislature may need to address this ambiguity next session.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    There was an extensive thread about this subject a couple of months ago which included a letter from the SC Attorney General. They are not allowing carry in establishments selling alcohol.

    You may be right about the wording, but I wouldn't want to be the test case.
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    Member Array Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodLark View Post
    There was an extensive thread about this subject a couple of months ago which included a letter from the SC Attorney General.
    Do you know where it is? I have not been successful searching for it.

    Thanks

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    You are correct really in your conclusion. And your right in that your not going to find it. It doesn't exist. It is what SLED wishes CWP instructors to teach and it is what they want you to do it seems. But your not going crazy. You are coming to the conclusion, like many others have, that we all have finally come to. Your not alone.

    But the AG's opinion does not agree with that and insists that the law "intended to exclude carry in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises". He insists that is the case in his opinion.

    But you are right in that section is for "Unlawful carry" and in that preceding section, carry with a permit is one of the exceptions and so is not "unlawful carry".

    We all agreed that it was a stretch but we also all agreed he was sticking to his guns on it. So we all feel it best to just be careful about concluding anything on that other than it might be a real tricky area.

    The thread exists but had been closed some time back. But your not going to find a specific law that prevents carry there. But you also know the AG intends to publish the opinion that it is. So we know that someone, somewhere, intends for us to not carry there. We do not have any idea how far that enforcement will go and so no one wants to be the test case.

    I think we also all came to the conclusion that to raise that issue too strongly might result in a worse law than what exists. So there may be some advantage to leave that sleeping dog lying...

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    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    Do you know where it is? I have not been successful searching for it.

    Thanks
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    Member Array Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    But the AG's opinion does not agree with that and insists that the law "intended to exclude carry in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises". He insists that is the case in his opinion.
    I know that this discussion does not alter the way things are, but it does seem strange that the following is on the books along with what could be argued:

    SC Law:
    SECTION 23-31-400. Definitions; unlawful use of firearm; violations.

    (A) As used in this article:

    (1) "Use a firearm" means to discharge a firearm.

    (2) "Serious bodily injury" means a physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.

    (B) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to use a firearm in this State.

    (C) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (B) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years.

    (D) This article does not apply to persons lawfully defending themselves or their property.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Yep. It is already illegal to shoot someone while your drunk! LOL...

    Does not mean I couldn't be in Applebys' concealed carrying having lunch not drinking Alcohol at all... unless you want to accept the AG's opinion that I cannot. And thats what he indeed believes. I can't go in there with my concealed carry weapon and eat a sammich and sip some iced tea because they also have a bar in there.

    I have to say this... the rule of not carrying into an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises is not about Drinking. It is about disarming to have to go into almost any establishment that serves Food these days. They almost all seem to serve beer. I am against Guns and Alcohol being mixed. But I am against them assuming just because it is there, I am going to be drinking so I cannot carry. Fact is... I don't rarely even drink and never when I am out. I might have one or two Beers by the pool on the weekend. More times not. But I do not drink when I am going out nor driving... at all. I would prefer a law that says something like a place that derives more than 50 percent of its income. Because I don't go to Bars. This would open up most places I would go to eat. But even with all I know about this law I do disarm when I go out to eat because I don't want no trouble. But I will be sorely pissed if something goes down leaving me and mine unprotected because of it. Particularly because I am not even going there to drink!

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    Member Array Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    Yep. It is already illegal to shoot someone while your drunk! LOL...
    I'm referring to part D. You can shoot someone while your drunk as long as you are defending yourself or property.

    Oh, and by the way, I don't drink but about every restaurant around here other than fast food serves alcohol.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Yea. I knew that. I was just being sarcastic. But you make a great point too!

    Even some of the fast food ones here serve Beer. I was in a Taco place the other day, had no idea they had started serving Beer until as I was leaving saw one on the table. They had recently started. Even a Pizza Hut serves beer. Heck.... chucky cheese sells beer!

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    Distinguished Member Array XD 45's Avatar
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    Member Array Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD 45 View Post
    Sooner or later we will not be able to defend ourselves.
    SC has one of the best Castle Doctrine statutes I've seen. Can't be arested and no civil liability if done lawfully - and that is one of the few laws that actually applies common sense.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Yea. Thats a good one.

    So I find it hard to believe the majority of the legislature wanted to disarm us when we are eating and NOT drinking. The law just misses the mark if it was really intended to do that. Thats why I wonder if it should not be readdressed properly at some point. It could be simply placed in the list of prohibited carry places and worded to allow carry in a place that derives no more than 50% of its income from Alcohol sales. That opens up almost all of the places we are discussing while not allowing carry in a full bar to those of us that frequent places that just happen to serve alcohol but mainly serve food.

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    Short of having the legislature clean it up, I guess the next best thing is to see what SLED's official training position is. BTW, I noticed that the AG opinion was dated 2001, wasn't the Castle Doctrine codified after that? If so, the AG may glean a different intent on the situation now.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    He mailed it out again though, So he is still sticking to it.

    SLED appears to be telling its CWP trainers the same thing. They are just passing it along. That appear to be the "official stance" on it.

    Someone would have to be arrested simply for that alone to establish case law on it. And its not happened and possibly never will happen. I would imagine that for someone to be charged for that, and that alone, they would have to have done something far worse for it to be attempted to be applied. Brandishing, or violating a restraining order (while still retaining their CWP - unlikely) or something like that. The act of it becoming unlawful carry and be noticed would have to occur I would imagine. Just my guess is all that is though.

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    My concern would be to bend over the wrong way or something benign like that and have a cop grab an eye full. Then what? You know what I mean?

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