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Open carry ban on Florence City Council agenda

Open carry ban on Florence City Council agenda

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FLORENCE, S.C. – The city of Florence may soon be wading into the gun control debate. 

On the agenda for the 1 p.m. Monday meeting of the Florence City Council is the first reading of an ordinance that would ban the open carrying of weapons at events permitted by the city and would also prohibit open and concealed carry of weapons on the city's properties. 

The proposed ordinance has been developed in response to a new law passed by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster that allows residents of the state to carry certain firearms openly if they have taken an appropriate safety course. 

The new law provides cities and towns with the ability to restrict the open carrying of firearms on public properties during and at events permitted by the city or town. The list of events where the open carrying of firearms includes protests, rallies, parades, fairs and festivals. 

The new law also expressly does not prohibit governmental entities or businesses from restricting the opening carrying of weapons on their properties. 

Florence's proposed ordinance uses both of these sections of law to ban the open carrying of weapons at events permitted by the city and to prohibit the open carrying of firearms on city property. The ordinance also amends several sections of the city's code to require permits for protests and rallies to make sure those events are covered by the act. 

Also scheduled for first reading at the meeting is an ordinance that would allow the city to enter into a development agreement for a 106-acre subdivision located at Redbud Lane and Howe Springs Road and ordinances rezoning properties on North Coit Street and Cherokee Road. 

On the agenda are the second and final readings of ordinances authorizing a lease purchase agreement for lighting and other equipment at the city's new baseball and track facility and rezoning three properties at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Maxwell Street that would allow for renovations to a convenience store on the site. 

There are resolutions expressing the city's willingness to convey part of its water service area to the town of Pamplico, declaring October as Bullying Prevention Month and recognizing the second Saturday of July as Pee Dee Youth Day. 

The city council also is expected to receive a presentation outlining a plan to spend its 2021-2022 accommodations tax revenues. 

And Tim Hammond is expected to address the council on yard waste collection, John Harrington is expected to speak about the Alternative Program and Clamentine Elmore is expected to update the council on the Housing Authority of Florence. 


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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Beginning Friday, Florence One Schools students will not be required to wear masks. Florence One Schools Board Chairman Porter Stewart confirmed at Thursday evening's board of trustees meeting that the 60-day mask mandate implemented by the board in August will expire and that control over masks will return to the administration. Superintendent Rich O'Malley said at the meeting that the administration's policy would be to follow the recommendations of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to strongly recommend but not mandate masks in the district's schools. 

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