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TTAG reader Andy Walker writes:

I’m a resident of South Carolina. In the run up to midterm elections my governor was all over the state drumming up support. Governor Haley happened to be stopping in my town on a Sunday afternoon. Even though I’m not involved in politics, I figured it was worth my time to go check it out and see what it was like since I support Haley and her positive 2A stance. Since it was getting cooler, I thought it’d be a good chance to wear the 1911 that had been neglected most of the summer. So I threw on jeans, a leather/kydex hybrid, and a light jacket. The “event” was in the lobby of a Holiday Inn. I got there a half hour early, saw a few local cops and a few dozen people in the lobby. Checked the entry was for SC’s very specific no CC sign. None to be seen . . .

A while later, she arrives, few local cops keeping an eye out. Her head of security has his head on a swivel. All is normal. I got to watch her speak from about eight yards away. After she spoke for 10 minutes, there was an opportunity for signatures and pictures. So I took the chance and got my picture with her. Then I thanked her for signing restaurant carry and went about my normal day.

I was able to touch a sitting state governor while carrying a concealed weapon. With zero problems. There wasn’t a lack of security, but there also wasn’t a violation of my rights. No one bothered me, looked at me crazy, or even noticed. My gun didn’t jump out of its holster to attack her. Overall, a perfect CC story.

Unrelated, I also got to ask my county sheriff if he would sign NFA paperwork. After his long-winded (and bullshit) explanation as to why he would not, I told him that was what I had heard, but wanted to confirm. Then I nicely informed him I had already created a trust and was patiently awaiting ATF approval.

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  1. As it should be.

    Shook hands with Rick Perry long years ago while wearing my CCW piece.

    And was right behind Ron Paul during one of his presidential runs taking pictures over his shoulder.

    Like you Andy, my gun did not go rogue.


    • Of course, Rick Perry may well have been carrying too:

      (Watch at about the 1:40-2:00 mark.)

      Also, with a CHL in Texas, you can bypass the security station and carry your heater into the state capitol — including while the legislature is in session. I love to mention that to friends from NY / NJ / People’s Republic of California, and watch the smoke come out of their ears as they try to wrap their brains around that concept.

      • This is true about CCW in the Texas Capital Building however if you have a CCW in another state like I do (Alaska) they make you stand around for 45 minutes to verify the permit is valid. Apparently TX has a mag strip on their permits which instantly verifies it’s validity. Mine does not so I had to wait. After 15 minutes I said effit and put the weapon back in the car. They did not seem to mind the knives in my pocket though. I hope they can come up with a more streamlined process for dealing with CCW holders from states with reciprocity.

    • Met Virginia’s former Lt Governor, Bill Bolling, and Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli at an outdoor event several years ago. I was open carrying. Nobody said a thing. I doubt I’d get the same consideration from the current administration.

  2. Thank you for your story (just be mindful of poking the bear). It is almost as if gun owners are just ordinary people…… oh wait, they are.

  3. Now that it is known you were that close to the Governor while carrying, the no CC signs will probably follow her around in her travels and interactions with the public. Not that she would make that decision, but those in charge of her security may make that decision even if it means not consulting with her first.

    • Based on what? The gun did not jump out of his holster and run amok.

      I’m going to give this generally pro-gun Governor credit for hiring staff with working brains…the kind of working brains than can noodle out the reality that a holstered firearm is actually no threat at all.

  4. It comes down to this: the vast, vast majority of CCW licensees, and the vast majority of people in general, don’t hurt or kill people.

  5. Well, if Dirk doesn’t say it, I guess I will–that’s a nice-lookin’ lady there. And a “victim” of the great GOP “war on women” to boot…A little more to the point hereabouts, if Haley did get wind of it, it would be nice to hear her say something to the effect of, “Worried? Why should I have been worried? It’s not the licensed carriers to be feared, I was safer with him around…”

  6. Robert Farago: I live in SC as well (Richland County). Was it the Richland County Sherrif who wouldn’t sign the NFA paperwork? If not, will you spill the beans on which county it was?

    Also, can you link any resources you found helpful in setting up your SC NFA trust? I’ll be in the market for a suppressor sometime after the new year and I am doing research on the best way to navigate the paperwork.

    Finally, I also support Haley in large measure because of her pro-2nd stance. It was a bummer when the open-carry bill got killed in committee. :^(

    • I used this guy for $125
      A real lawyer standing behind it.
      He answered multiple emails before I even payed him a dime.
      Did over the web and I had forms the next day.

      I used it for suppressors and cheap stuff ….but now if I was buying 50K$ machine guns then I might want to walk into an office and have a face-to-face talk about a myriad of what-if scenarios and get it tailored to my unique need.

    • Leon Lott (Richland County Sheriff) will sign NFA paperwork.

      Well he probably won’t personally, but he’ll have a deputy do it.

    • Fosi, the statist in question is Sheriff of York County, SC. He refuses to let the lowly peasantry have the same tools as our servants, the law ENFORCERS. The hypocrite actually went so far as to post this here on his website:

      YORK COUNTY, SC – For several weeks the citizens of York County have expressed their concerns and opinions to the York County Sheriff’s Office about the President’s plan for gun control in the United States.

      York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant prepared a statement in response to the proposed gun control plan:

      “First and foremost, no President of the United States has any authority over the office of any sheriff in America. As President, he may address federal law-enforcement agencies, but not local agencies. Nor do sheriffs possess the authority to enforce federal laws or presidential orders; only federal law enforcement agencies may do so.

      One should also remember that the US Constitution does not say one word regarding the office of sheriff, which is purely a state office. In some states, the office of sheriff is statutorily created; in others, it is constitutionally created. The office of Sheriff is a constitutional office within the State of South Carolina. The federal government cannot force or coerce a state or local official to perform a function to which they may object.

      I will take care of my county by upholding the Constitution of the State of South Carolina and the Constitution of the United States, including our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

      Responsible gun ownership is the constitutional right of American citizens. As a federally protected right, this issue should be addressed with your United States Congressmen and Senators. They must balance our Second Amendment right with the need to prohibit mentally impaired individuals or convicted felons from gun ownership and access to guns. Our elected Federal Legislators have the power to protect your rights.

      This being said, I will not enforce any law that will infringe upon our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I will also do everything in my power to protect the citizens of my county.”

      • York County! Of course!

        That post is pretty rich. I wonder if he construes the signing of NFA paperwork as “enforcing federal laws”.

    • Fosi,

      I sent the email to Mr. Farago. I live in York county and it was Sheriff Bruce Bryant.

      His reason for not signing, because he cannot control what would happen if the device left my possession. If it was stolen and used for crime(s), people would want to know who allowed me to posses the weapon legally before it was stolen. He may sign for suppressors in the future. The ability to have co trustees made a trust a more attractive option to me anyway.

      I used Robert Merting for my trust. He is in the upstate area (Boiling Springs / Spartanburg area). It was a flat fee of $200 and everything can be handled via email/snail mail. He has been exceptional at walking me through the process and has answered my question promptly. I couldn’t be happier with his service.

      • Yes, co-trustees is one of the reasons that a trust looks like a better option since it would seem to shrink the “possession” liability.

        Also, I like the idea of not having to give biometric data.

    • The Sheriff (or his designated representative/deputy) of Horry County will sign NFA forms.
      NP, took about 20 minutes for the fingerprint cards and forms.
      Still waiting for my Form 1 to come back approved.
      6-1/2 months since ATF cashed my check.

  7. Media worship of elected leaders is a byproduct of the worship of democracy (aka mob rule) and statism. Our leaders are too holy to brush up against tax cows, much less armed tax cows.

  8. Same thing happened, or didn’t happen, here in Texas. I’ve attended events and had the opportunity to speak with and shake hands with candidates and officeholders alike, including the Honorable Greg Abbott, our Governor-elect.

    I suppose his eagle-eyed security detail probably could spot likely concealed carriers in the crowd. I’d expect they, like I do in my daily life, made a mental note of it and went about their business. My self-defense firearms are exactly that: for self-defense. Since I have no desire or intention to initiate violence against anyone, and it has no volition of its own, absolutely nothing but a pleasant exchange of well wishings took place.

    I would expect the new Governor himself to open carry as soon as the bill he signs becomes law, and to continue interacting with armed Texans, open or concealed carrying.

    Attending town hall meetings with my Congressman, however, I’m disarmed, because he conducts those at a local elementary school. He doesn’t have a security detail, though, just hanger-on staffers. So we all rely on the volition of the no-guns sign to protect us if anybody should happen to freak out and initiate violence.

    • Spaceman Brown is correct. The York County Sheriff’s deputies are “the only ones profeshunal enuf” to have NFA items. You know, guys like this deputy:

      From 8/26/13 posting:

      YORK, SC – At approximately 7:30am on August 26, 2013 a York County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer’s weapon accidentally discharged outside of York Comprehensive High School. The weapon discharged into a sidewalk. There were only three other people in the vicinity when the incident occurred. No one was injured.

      The deputy involved has been removed from the school and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. At this time another school resource officer has been assigned to York Comprehensive High School.

      The incident is currently under investigation, further information will be released once the investigation is complete.

  9. Now, would any politician (Haley? Perry?) pose with someone open carrying? That is the question.

    Great pic, Andy. Haley seems like a level head, from what I’ve heard. Would it kill the GOP to consider her in 2016?

  10. “Since it was getting cooler, I thought it’d be a good chance to wear the 1911… ”

    Well, there’s the reason everything went well… Those 1911s are notoriously mild tempered, but those Glocks are hellcats, I tell you.

    It would’ve been a blood bath had you carried one of those safety-less, ghost Glocks with uber-high capacity clipazines.

  11. ” No one bothered me, looked at me crazy, or even noticed. My gun didn’t jump out of its holster to attack her”
    There are those that would say you need to locate a good gunsmith. Your 1911 us defective!

  12. That’s my governor, too!

    Her being pro-2A has been great for gun rights in SC. Just wondering if she can/will go all the way to open carry. Really hope to see that in our state soon.

    I’m also interested in which county you were dealing with on the NFA stuff.

    Good article and picture, Andy!

  13. Same thing here in Idaho – when the governor does a “capitol for the day” visit in small towns throughout Idaho, there is no metal detector/searching/security checkpoint when you g into the meeting area. There are usually a couple of Idaho State Police plainclothes guys standing in the back of the room, but nobody is concerned if a CWL holder is in the room. Actually, there are probably several in the room, an no one even mentions it.

    Now, if you were on an Idaho public university campus and the high poobah university president was there, the campus cops would have “no guns” signs all over the place and there would be hissy fits and fainting spells if anyone walked in with a gun. “Cause, you know, those college poobahs are FAR more important than a mere governor.

  14. Had a similar experience when Governor Haley spoke to the local young farmers chapter a few years ago. I’d love to see her run in 2016.

  15. Who knows? Maybe Gov. Haley was carrying as well. She does have a CWP. And from what she is wearing in the picture, maybe she is.
    (I need a new keyboard.)


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