On May 23, 1788—the same day it gained statehood—South Carolina became the 8th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Today, the Palmetto State’s allegiance to our nation’s governing document is perhaps best demonstrated through its defense of the Second Amendment: South Carolinians enjoy shall-issue concealed carry, open carry and Castle Doctrine protections, among other pro-freedom laws. And South Carolinians aren’t afraid to exercise these rights, either, as evidenced by the fact that all eight of the accounts below took place within the last six years.
An armed man entered the convenience store at the Obama Gas Station in Richland County, S.C., and attempted to rob the store. The clerk on duty responded to the threat by retrieving a gun. Upon meeting armed resistance, the armed robber fled the scene. The gas station was renamed after the 44th president of the United States in 2011. (WIS, Columbia, S.C., 08/29/16)
76-year-old Charles Petit was walking from his Lincolnville, S.C., home to his vehicle parked in the driveway when a 25-year-old criminal armed with a stun gun attacked the elderly homeowner and attempted to rob him. Petit responded by drawing a .38-caliber revolver and shooting the attacker, killing him. Following the incident, Petit was hospitalized for an injury to his face suffered during the altercation. A local business owner who knows Petit described him to a local media outlet as “a prince of a fellow,” and added, “I’m glad to know he wasn’t hurt any worse than he was.” (The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., 02/10/14)
A masked and armed robber entered the Wings on the Run restaurant in Greenville, S.C., and demanded money from the store’s owner. Upon witnessing the robbery, employee Antwain Motin retrieved a gun and fired at the robber, striking the criminal and causing him to flee. The thief was captured a short time later after seeking medical attention at a nearby hospital. (Fox Carolina, Greenville, S.C., 02/02/14)
An 85-year-old woman was asleep at home in Orangeburg County, S.C., when she awakened to the sound of her dog barking. The woman retrieved a gun, went to investigate and discovered an intruder inside her home. The woman asked the intruder, “what are you doing in my house?” The criminal refused to answer or move, prompting the woman to fire at the home invader, which caused him to flee. (The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, S.C., 10/01/13)
A pair of armed robbers entered a Kangaroo convenience store in Mount Pleasant, S.C., and demanded money from the clerk. Despite the clerk complying with the demand, one of the criminals fired at the employee while leaving, grazing his arm. However, also inside the store was a Right-to-Carry permit holder, who drew a pistol and confronted the robbers as they were leaving. Upon seeing the armed citizen, one of the criminals surrendered and waited for police to arrive, while the other fled on foot only to be captured by U.S. Marshals the next day. Following an investigation, law enforcement officials now believe the duo is responsible for a rash of convenience store robberies in the Mount Pleasant area. (WCSC, Charleston, S.C., 06/28/13)
A homeowner in Orangeburg, S.C., shot and killed a home invader after the criminal used a shovel to break a back window to gain entry to the house. Neighbors expressed support for the armed citizen and were grateful for the fact that his daughter was not at home at the time of the incident.
One neighbor in particular could empathize with the homeowner’s situation. Marion Ammonds had an encounter with the deceased criminal in 2010. At the time, Ammonds was helping to build a nearby house for his daughter when the criminal attempted to burglarize the home. Ammonds discovered the burglar, retrieved a firearm and held the criminal at gunpoint until police could arrive. (WISTV, Columbia, S.C., 06/03/13)
A pair of armed intruders entered a home in St. Helena Island, S.C., and attempted to rob the 31-year-old woman who lives there. The homeowner responded by retrieving a gun and firing at the criminals, striking one and causing both to flee. The wounded criminal was discovered when he turned up at the Savannah Memorial University Medical Center seeking treatment; the other was captured a day later. The home invaders face charges of armed robbery and attempted murder. (The Beaufort Gazette, Beaufort, S.C., 10/30/12)
A Boiling Springs, S.C., homeowner was driving home when he noticed a car was following him. After the homeowner turned into his driveway, two people got out the suspicious car and attempted to rob him. The homeowner retrieved a gun from the glove box of his vehicle and fired at the criminals, killing one and causing the other to flee. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Officer Lt. Tony Ivey, made clear that the homeowner acted within his rights, stating, “South Carolina law has long established the right for citizens to protect themselves from assault.” The armed citizen noted that he did not relish being forced to protect himself, remarking, “My prayers go out to the family of the other man.” (The Spartanburg Herald, Spartanburg, S.C., 08/30/11)