New South Carolina gun laws forced festival to close | comment

The 49th Annual Colleton County Rice Festival was going great – then some people showed up packing the heat.

And soon everyone packed their things and went home.

It was disappointing because everyone loves a street party in the south. And there's no better place to do it than Walterboro, which is so beautiful that Hollywood often films there.

And no, not just when Alex Murdaugh is on trial.

Rice Festival organizers took the prudent step of closing the festival an hour early on April 27 when some people showed up with guns. Because these days, thanks to “Constitutional Carry,” the police can do absolutely nothing about it.

“We were informed by local authorities that two groups with documented histories of gun violence and other crimes were gathering in the area around the food court and carnival,” Rice Festival organizers said in a Facebook statement shortly after the event .

Two groups – gangs, actually – started talking nonsense, threatening violence and showing off their skills. Back then, that could have landed her in prison.

“However, under the new open carry law, no action could be taken to remove them,” festival organizers said. “At this point, we have decided to begin notifying vendors and close operations by 8 p.m.”

You see, in March, the state legislature voted to allow virtually anyone to carry guns in public at any time, anywhere. Except the Statehouse, of course.

Under the new Constitutional Carry law (which is based on a very liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment), police are not even allowed to ask simple questions such as:

Are you 18?

Are you a convicted felon who is prohibited from owning a firearm?

Are you trying to scare people, or are you just afraid of your own shadow… and the cotton candy guy?

Now the people in “Gunsmoke” walk the streets and into stores wearing seatbelts like extras. And others predict that this will lead to more gatherings being canceled because many reasonable people will put public safety over profit — like the Rice Festival organizers did.

Anna Harden

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