House approves allowing concealed guns in bars

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The House has approved a bill allowing South Carolina residents with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns into restaurants and bars.

While the measure approved 100-12 on Tuesday lets permit holders keep their weapon on them, it specifies they can’t consume alcohol. It also lets businesses bar permit holders from entering with a gun by posting signs against it.

The bill requires another, perfunctory vote in the House before returning to the Senate. That chamber’s version set a curfew. It continues to ban concealed guns between midnight and 5 a.m. from businesses that serve alcohol.

Neither state law nor the state’s tax code distinguishes between bars and restaurants.

The discussion featured a political twist: the House’s top Democrat touting the expanded-gun-rights bill, and a Republican arguing against it.

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