Williamston town attorney explains why sign banning weapons remo - FOX Carolina 21

Williamston town attorney explains why sign banning weapons removed from town park

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The city removed the sign banning weapons from Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. (FOX Carolina: 11/27/17) The city removed the sign banning weapons from Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. (FOX Carolina: 11/27/17)
The city removed the sign banning weapons from Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. (FOX Carolina: 11/27/17) The city removed the sign banning weapons from Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. (FOX Carolina: 11/27/17)

Removing the sign that said "No weapons allowed" from Williamston's Mineral Spring Park was part of the town's vision for it's future, according to town attorney Lee Cole.

"Part of the signs going down in the park is part of a longer revitalization project the town has been working on for a year now," said Cole.

But, Cole also pointed out the sign is now gone because of state law.

"The way that the statute is constructed it says that if you are a concealed weapons permit holder you can carry in all areas except for these places and the exception town parks are not listed... Then there is another section that says that a local government cannot do anything to restrict the carrying of concealed weapons," said Cole.

Part of South Carolina law that Cole is referring to is the following: 

SECTION 23-31-510. Regulation of ownership, transfer, or possession of firearm or ammunition; discharge on landowner's own property.

No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance that regulates or attempts to regulate:

(1) the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.

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

This story first came to light a few weeks ago when council member Rockey Burgess proposed an ordinance that would allow lawful concealed weapons permit holders to carry on certain town properties including parks. Burgess since dropped his push for policy change since the mayor ordered the removal of that sign at Mineral Spring Park. 

"There's currently no town law on the books in Williamston that says you can't carry in parks," said Cole.

In fact, Cole said there's no clear answer as to why the sign was there in the first place.

"We can only assume that a previous administration put them up and they had a restriction or they may have thought they had a restriction," said Cole. 

Cole also said he referred to opinions on similar matters from the Attorney General's office to determine where the law stood on this particular signage. You can read those opinions below:

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