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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. 

COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday he would sign a law granting open, permit-less carry of weapons if it passes the General Assembly.

"Gov. McMaster appreciates the House’s hard work on this bill, believes it is constitutional and will sign it if it reaches his desk,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said.

A version of the bill, which passed the House 64-46 last week, would allow anyone who is legally allowed to buy a gun to do so without getting a state permit and carry it openly or concealed.

The bill would keep the state's concealed weapons permit program in place so South Carolinians could carry their guns in other states.

The legislation still needs to be approved by the Senate before it could reach McMaster's desk. A Senate panel will consider another similar version of the law Tuesday.

The House's proposed bill still bans guns from schools and airports, which follows state and federal laws, said bill sponsor Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens.

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The move comes as gun reform activists have sought to strengthen the state's laws, many targeting the errant background check process that allowed now-convicted Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof to buy a pistol two months before killing nine worshipers inside the Charleston church in 2015.

The Senate on Thursday also will give initial consideration to two bills that would lengthen the waiting period when purchasing a gun, either to five days or 28 days.

Reach Maya T. Prabhu at 843-509-8933.

Maya T. Prabhu covers the Statehouse from Columbia. She previously covered city government and other topics in South Carolina and Maryland. Maya has a bachelors in English from Spelman College and a masters in journalism from the University of Maryland.