Anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Carolina will no longer have to keep their weapon hidden under clothing starting Sunday.

Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial signing Friday for a new state law allowing people to carry pistols in the open.

The law still requires a permit obtained in a training class to carry a pistol in public, but it eliminates the need to keep a holster hidden under a pant leg or jacket.

The legislation passed this spring also eliminates a $50 permit fee to get a concealed weapons permit and lowers the number of bullets that someone must fire at a target in an accuracy test to get a permit from 50 to 25 shots.

Requirements remain that a permit holder be 21 or over, take eight hours of training and pass a background check that includes fingerprinting.

“This is a good day for South Carolina. It is a happy day for law-abiding citizens,” McMaster said at the Palmetto State Armory in Greenville, joined by Second Amendment advocates.

The South Carolina House this year passed a bill allowing anyone who can legally own a gun to carry one openly. That proposal is now in the Senate.

The law was opposed by State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel as well as police chiefs and sheriffs in some of the state’s largest population centers.

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South Carolina is now a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” under the law. The proposal orders states and local governments to refuse to enforce any federal law or executive order that limits gun rights. Similar ideas are facing court challenges in other places.

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