Saturday, April 11, 2020

Look out for Columbia's curfew

I imagine that most Richland 2 School District residents live in Richland County, not within the City Limits of Columbia.

BUT, if you have occasion to travel into or in Columbia during its curfew of 11:00PM-6:00AM, be sure to know the restrictions.

The curfew doesn't just limit your travel to commuting to/from work or for necessary medical reasons, it also disarms you. The Curfew Ordinance (2020-031) triggered a prior state-of-emergency ordinance, and that one apparently forbids a person out during the curfew from being armed in public, even if s/he holds a concealed weapons permit.

I have requested the Ordinance number from the Columbia City Clerk but, so far, the Clerk has not responded. A FOIA Request may be necessary, if the Clerk doesn't reply by Tuesday, April 14.

So, be forewarned. Only the criminals will be out hunting. The entire City of Columbia has become a gun-free zone, and you know what that means.

If you get stopped, and that is quite likely because of the light volume of traffic, you may wish you have decided in advance whether to reveal you are armed (or even just have a firearm in the vehicle). Think about your exact words, should the cop ask if you have a firearm with you (or in the vehicle).

Also, understand your rights to decline any request for a search of your person or your vehicle This might be a good time to get legal advice - before you "need" it. If you call a lawyer, make sure it's a lawyer who understands firearms law, the ugly state-of-emergency Ordinance (not just the curfew ordinance), and the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions.