Senate panel OKs bill allowing open gun carrying

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Senate panel has passed a bill that would allow people to carry guns in public in South Carolina without a concealed weapons permit.

Supporters of the open carry bill said Wednesday it still needs some more work to make sure there aren't any loopholes. They plan to tweak the bill when it goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee next month.

Currently, anyone who wants to carry a gun in public has to have a permit and keep it concealed. It takes at least eight hours of training to get permission to carry a concealed weapon.

The hearing on the bill was packed with gun supporters. Many of them said a concealed weapon permit is an extra unnecessary step when the constitution allows people to have guns.

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