Williamston councilman drafts ordinance to remove gun restrictio - FOX Carolina 21

Williamston councilman drafts ordinance to remove gun restrictions on some town property

Posted: Updated:
Williamston councilman wants new ordinance to allow CWP holders to carry on certain town properties (FOX Carolina: 11/15/17). Williamston councilman wants new ordinance to allow CWP holders to carry on certain town properties (FOX Carolina: 11/15/17).
Williamston councilman wants new ordinance to allow CWP holders to carry on certain town properties, such as parks (FOX Carolina: 11/15/17). Williamston councilman wants new ordinance to allow CWP holders to carry on certain town properties, such as parks (FOX Carolina: 11/15/17).
WILLIAMSTON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

There's a sign posted at the front of Mineral Springs Park in Williamston that says "No Weapons Allowed" but Williamston Town Council member Rockey Burgess doesn't believe that sign would stop a criminal from striking.

"I think it's pretty obvious that those who intend to harm to others could care less whether there's a sign there or ordinance, or even a state statute that prohibits firearms," said Burgess.

In a post of Facebook, Burgess shared a draft of an ordinance that would get rid of signs like that one at Mineral Springs Park. 

In short, it says all CWP holders should be able to carry weapons on certain town properties such as parks.

"Unless otherwise prohibited by South Carolina state statute, any town property is not off limits to lawful CWP holders," said Burgess.

For Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor and Training Officer Jody Culbertson said two concerns pop up, training and liability. 

"What would happen if there is an accidental discharge and some child is hurt during an accidental discharge? We have events with alcohol, could there be liability issues. Those are some of the things we want to look at when it comes to this ordinance," said Chief Taylor.

Culbertson said unlike officers who retrain every year, in South Carolina CWP holders only have to attend one 6-8 hour training class to legally carry and they can renew without training every three years. 

"Shooting is a perishable skill. If you do not train with it, you lose those skills. CWP holders aren't put under stress situations, they're not taught to shoot in lo-vi conditions, they're not taught weapon retention," said Culbertson.

Meanwhile Burgess, who is a former Anderson County deputy, said he believes allowing people to carry could save lives. 

"I'd much rather have the good guys carrying in addition to the bad guys who are going to carry anyway," said Burgess.

However, Culbertson fears that if tragedy did strike at a place like a park, having CWP holder's armed could hurt rather than help the situation. 

"We roll up on scene and we have one bad guy and we have 5 citizens and everyone's shooting. We can't determine who the bad guy is," said Culbertson.

Like the police chief, Williamston Mayor Robert 'Mack' Durham said he does have concerns about liability especially at events where alcohol is present but he said it will be up to council to discuss whether this is a change they want to get behind.

"We have so many great things going on in Williamston, we just want to keep that positive movement going forward. And I don't know that relaxing the requirements on public property for firearms is necessarily a positive part of that but that is something that council will need to have a dialogue about," said Mayor Durham.

Burgess said so far, he's gotten a lot of support from the community online. 

"Everybody seems to be in great support of it. I think our community certainly looks upon lawful CWP holders as a good thing for the community," said Burgess.

Burgess said he will discuss the policy change at an ordinance review committee before it goes to a council work session and potential first reading on December 4th.

Mayor Durham said that committee includes the police chief, the city attorney, and a community liaison.

Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.