Greenville City Council passes ordinance to prohibit gun owners from openly carrying at certain city events

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville’s City Council passed an ordinance Monday night that prohibits gun owners from openly carrying firearms at certain events, including protests.

“Greenville City Council adopted an ordinance in direct response to the Governor’s Open Carry With Training Act that he signed a few weeks back<” City Spokeswoman, Beth Brotherton said. “And the idea behind this is to really get us back in the same place with city permitted events that you would see at other entertainment sports venues.”

Governor Henry McMaster’s Open Carry with Training Act allows those with concealed weapons permits to openly carry their guns.

But there are limitations to the act.

“Whereas you wouldn’t be allowed to open carry a gun at say Fluor Field, or go to a concert at Bon Secour Wellness Arena, or take a gun open carry into a Clemson football game, this gives the same protections to city-permitted events,” Brotherton explained.

She said this ordinance applies to city-events like Fall for Greenville, Ice on Main, Boo in the Zoo, and 5k races that take place in the heart of downtown.

Attorney John Reckenbeil said the city can’t impose a blanket ban on guns, but there are rules that apply.

“So that’s literally what the city is giving themselves the authority to do,” Reckenbeil said. “That when there is that special event, they can say okay put the placards up. No concealed weapons.”

For businesses, he said it’s even more specific.

According to the Open Carry with Training Act, some of the requirements include:

(B)    All signs must be posted at each entrance into a building where a concealable weapon permit holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon, whether concealed or openly carried and must be:
(1)    clearly visible from outside the building;
(2)    eight inches wide by twelve inches tall in size;
(3)    contain the words ‘NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED’ in black one-inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
(4)    contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle seven inches in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five-degree angle from the horizontal;
(5) diameter of a circle; and
(6)    placed not less than forty inches and not more than sixty inches from the bottom of the building’s entrance door.

“Businesses are going to be required to post these on their front door or the beginning portions and locations of their business,” Reckenbeil said. “But make sure you follow the exact measurements of what they’re requiring you to do.”

As for gun owners with permits, Reckenbeil said to make sure you’re aware of your surrounding signs or it could put you in jail.

“You can be arrested it says for unlawful possession of a gun,” Reckenbeil told 7 News. “Then I think what they would do is strip you of your ability to have that concealed weapons permit.”

Reckenbeil said if you ignore the signs, you could be charged with unlawful possession of a gun.

“But it’s then going to be on the landowner or the city to prove that they met the requisites of the statute to have the posting requirements,” said Reckenbeil.

To learn more about the Open Carry with Training Act and sign requirements, click here.

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