Oconee County legal issue


stan29678

New member
I think I have stirred up a hornet's nest in Oconee County. I asked a simple (or i thought a simple) question of the county attorney. Oconee has a rule against handgun possession in county parks and public access areas (boat landings, etc.). The first response I received was short and to the point. It basically said the county stands behind the ban.

I presented the county attorney with this from the SC code of laws:

SECTION 23-31-510. Prohibition against regulation of certain matters.
No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance which regulates or attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.

and also this:

(G) Possessing any firearm, airgun, explosive, or firework except by duly authorized park personnel, law enforcement officers, or persons using areas specifically designated by the department for use of firearms, airguns, fireworks, or explosives. Licensed hunters may have firearms in their possession during hunting seasons provided that such firearms are unloaded and carried in a case or the trunk of a vehicle except that in designated game management areas where hunting is permitted, licensed hunters may use firearms for hunting in the manner authorized by law. This subsection shall not apply to a person carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, and the concealable weapon and its ammunition.

Notice there is a provision specifically stating this does not apply to cwp holders. My point is Oconee County is in violation of state law.

Anyone else in Oconee county is welcome to push this with me. Also, tell me if you think I am incorrect since I am no attorney!
 

Danno

New member
That is very interesting. My Step dad works in Oconee County quite a bit, and he has carried in all of the above places you mentioned - he does tree work. I would like to hear the outcome of this...
 

stan29678

New member
I am waiting on the second response from the county attorney. Will post as soon as (if) i get an answer. If I do not, I am uncertain where to go next with this.
 

Red Hat

New member
I think you have a good case against them. Counties cannot add to the states laws on weapons they can only enforce what the state has on the books.
 
My opinion, for what it's worth, is you are right. I didn't know that Oconee had tried to do this.... depending on the 2nd response, I would contact the state AG about it.
 

stan29678

New member
I just looked at Pickens county code of law and they have the same restriction against carry in a county park without the clause excluding cwp holders. Maybe this is a state wide thing and I have missed something...
 

stan29678

New member
Update on this: I just received an email from State Representative Bill Whitmire stating that he is taking this matter to the Attorney General for an opinion on my behalf. I will post as soon as i hear from him again.
 
Stan,

I just re-read the oconee county law you posted... and after it says you can't then it says you can... as a CWP holder. It reads to me like they put firearms in there and then took them out... in a way. Quite and example of poorly worded legaleez.
 

stan29678

New member
If you refer to item G from the original post, that is state law which allows it in state parks. The actual county ordinance states this (notice there is no provision for cwp as the state law has):

(5) Possessing any firearm, airgun, explosive or firework except by duly authorized park personnel, law enforcement officers or persons using areas specifically designated by the director of the parks and recreation department and or the Corps for use of firearms, airguns, fireworks or explosives.
 
But as I read it .....it says the restriction, county law or what ever forbidding the items including firearms...DOES NOT apply to CWP holders... which means you CAN carry in the county park.
 

stan29678

New member
That's the state law you are looking at with the provision. That provision for cwp is missing in the county code and according to the county attorney cwp's are forbidden in oconee county parks. I would like to see the provision added to the county code.
 
Well obviously the county atorney needs to go back to law school or at least get a refresher course on state law.... if he or she is standing by this after you have pointed out the state law then I think they are playing a silly bluff.... but of course keep in mind they get paid to prosecute you regardless of whether they are right or wrong and are imune from suit.
 

Fallguy

Citizen
TN has the same premption law that says the state is the only one that can regulate firearms. But there is also a code that allows private and public property owners to post signs to prohibit carry on that property.

It looks like SC may only limit that to private property owners...

SECTION 23-31-220. Right to allow or permit concealed weapons upon premises; signs.

Nothing contained in this article shall in any way be construed to limit, diminish, or otherwise infringe upon:

(1) the right of a public or private employer to prohibit a person who is licensed under this article from carrying a concealable weapon upon the premises of the business or work place or while using any machinery, vehicle, or equipment owned or operated by the business;

(2) the right of a private property owner or person in legal possession or control to allow or prohibit the carrying of a concealable weapon upon his premises.

The posting by the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control of a sign stating "No Concealable Weapons Allowed" shall constitute notice to a person holding a permit issued pursuant to this article that the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control requests that concealable weapons not be brought upon the premises or into the work place. A person who brings a concealable weapon onto the premises or work place in violation of the provisions of this paragraph may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620. In addition to the penalties provided in Section 16-11-620, a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this paragraph must have his permit revoked for a period of one year. The prohibition contained in this section does not apply to persons specified in Section 16-23-20, item (1).
 

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