Senate panel OKs bill allowing open gun carrying

The room was packed with citizens testifying on the bill that would allow open carry of weapons in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/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.

Some members of the public who testified at the panel discussion said something needs to be added to the bill to ensure people are properly trained to use guns.

"I want to make it to where I know that that person next to me -- whether he's carrying it outside his shirt or outside their vest or outside their jacket, their purse -- they know how to handle that firearm," said Miles Presser, a retired Marine.

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.

To view the entire bill, click here.