A Senate panel advanced a proposal to eliminate lifetime handgun license fees, but not before Democrats voiced concerns about loosening gun laws in the wake of a Florida high school shooting.
The bill previously sailed through the House. But Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane of Anderson says “everything has changed” since the fatal shooting of 17 people at the school in Parkland, Florida.
Law enforcement groups have raised concerns about the bill because it would eliminate a stream of funding — handgun permits — that they use for training, including mass shooting drills.
Lawmakers have pledged to backfill that money in next year’s budget. They have also delayed the elimination of the fee until 2019.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 in favor of the bill on Wednesday.