South Carolina Gun Laws

south carolina state seal

South Carolina gun laws operate on a Shall Issue policy at the state level. They allow for the issue of concealed carry permits to residents and non-residents, provided non-residents own property in the state. Exemptions are given to military personnel posted in the state. Applicants must be 21 years or older, have 20/40 vision, and completed a firearms training course. South Carolina does not honor non-resident permits from other states.

South Carolina CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer YES
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Gun Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry Permitted NO
Carry In Liquor Establishments YES
Constitutional Carry NO
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South Carolina CCW Dashboard

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South Carolina CCW Reciprocity

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in South Carolina

South Carolina will only honor residential permits from other states. For your permit to be honored the state must be on the state reciprocity list and you must be a resident of that state.

South Carolina Reciprocity State's

0
STATES
RESIDENT

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

NON-RESIDENT
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
0
states
RESIDENTIAL PERMITS ONLY
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
0
states
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington

Note

  • Idaho - SC only honors the Enhanced permit
  • Mississippi - SC only honors the Enhanced permit
  • North Dakota - SC only honors the Enhanced permit
  • South Dakota - SC only honors the Enhanced permit
  • West Virginia - Must be 21 years or older.

South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • You have completed an approved firearms training class.
  • Reside in South Carolina, or if a resident of another state submit proof you own property in South Carolina.
  • You have not been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony.
  • You must have actual or corrected vision of 20/40.
  • Are not a person who, by order of a circuit judge or county court judge of South Carolina, has been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm.
  • Federal Law Requirements

New York Gun Policy

Shall Issue

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South Carolina CWP Forms

Download Your Forms

South Carolina: Places Off-Limits for CCW

south carolina state flag
South Carolina state flag

Places Off-Limits in South Carolina

  • Law enforcement office or facility.
  • Detention or correctional facility.
  • Courthouse or courtroom.
  • Polling place on election days.
  • Any publicly owned building or property without permission from persons in charge.
  • State Capitol building or grounds. CWP permit holders can leave their firearm locked in a vehicle.
  • Office of or the business meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district.
  • School or college athletic event not related to firearms.
  • Daycare or preschool facility.
  • Place where federal law prohibits the carrying of firearms.
  • Church or other established religious sanctuary.
  • Hospital, doctors office, medical clinic or any building medical services are performed in. Unless given permission by employer.
  • Place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises.
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Short and Headlines are Best!

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state - except those listed as Off-Limits

Pointers: South Carolina CCW

Training class tips
Carry in restaurants

South Carolina Gun Sales...

Private Sales
No background checks are required for private handgun or long gun sales. The law does not allow firearms to be sold to anyone that is prohibited from possessing firearms under South Carolina law.

Dealers
The purchasing process is fairly easy in South Carolina. To buy a handgun or long gun you will need a CWP Permit, or have a NCIS background check.

No CWP Permit
You will need to fill out ATF form 4473 and then the dealer will commence a background check. The background check will return one of the following results;

  • Approved
  • Delayed
  • Denied

With a CWP Permit
If the buyer has a CWP permit then they will need to complete form 4473 and then the purchase can begin. 

South Carolina Concealed Carry Laws

south carolina state capitol building
South Carolina state capitol building

South Carolina Gun Laws To Know

YES – Without a permit

If you do not have a CCW permit but can legally own a firearm then you are legally entitled to carry the firearm loaded in a vehicle as long as it is placed in a closed glove box, console or trunk of vehicle. If there is no trunk then the firearm can be placed in the luggage area enclosed in a container and secured with fasteners.

If the firearm is found in any other place such as in a purse, under the seat, on the seat, you will be charged. The law is very specific on where the firearm is placed.

With a permit from South Carolina or other recognized state, you can carry a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle on or about your person.

The Law
16.23.20 – Exceptions to unlawful carry
21.31.230 – Carry between vehicle & accomodation

NO – With or without a permit

Open carrying a handgun in South Carolina is illegal. Even if you have a concealed carry permit you still cannot legally open carry in this state.

YES – Must Inform Officer

South Carolina gun laws require you to inform a law enforcement officer you are carrying a firearm when approached on official business. You are also legally required to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

The Law
23.31.215 – Issuance of permits

NO
South Carolina does not have constitutional carry.
YES
It is legal to carry in the following areas;
  • State Parks:       YES51.3.145
  • State/National Forests:     YES51.3.145
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES123.203
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES16.23.420
YES

You can carry a firearm into a restaurant if you have a CCW permit, but you are not allowed to consume alcohol. If the restaurant has posted a “No Weapons” sign then it is illegal to enter.

“Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

The Law
16.23.465

YES

South Carolina gun laws give the force of law to“No Weapons” signs. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

The Law
23.31.235 – Sign Requirements

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
(Art. 1, § 20)
no weapons sign in south carolina

Off-Limits Statutes

Other CCW Statutes

South Carolina CCW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on south carolina gun laws

South Carolina CCW Contacts

Law Enforcement Division SLED

Hours


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 4400 Broad River Road

CityColumbia, SC29210

Phone (803) 896-7015

 

Updates & Data Sources

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DeonteErica McCallistergvkyzerJoeAshley Recent comment authors
Randy E Dailey
Guest
Randy E Dailey

Do I need to take a training course , having a lifetime ccl from another State . I’m buying a house in Lexington South Carolina.

Victor Becerra
Guest
Victor Becerra

Yes sir, I believe you do. I am on the same boat also moving to Lexington area from Texas.

Erica McCallister
Guest
Erica McCallister

Yes. We just came from Florida and he has his there. If you have not taken a course within the last 3 years you have to take the course and apply.

Reginald Frazier
Guest
Reginald Frazier

If I’m CCW from another state, Illinois, can I carry in South Carolina ???

Victor
Guest
Victor

I don’t believe so, look at the map above. Illinois is in red.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

You’ll definitely need to apply for the SC CCW. Not only did you relocate (which voids your prior CCW anyhow), Illinois doesn’t even reciprocate.

Alan J. Boudreau
Guest
Alan J. Boudreau

I just move to SC, I have CWP permits from CT(Res), NH(NR), FL(NR). I am also retired Army Officer 24 Years(DD214), NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA Basic Pistol Instr, Firearm Home Safety Instructor. Do I need to take training in SC for my CWP or will I be exempt?

Victor
Guest
Victor

According to what I read from above, you will not have to take the full training only a part of it. I know I read that because that applied to me as well.

John
Guest
John

When a person doesn’t have a CCW permit and transports a firearm in a glove box or console are they required to notify law enforcement of the weapon? From what I read only a CCW permit carrier is required to notify law enforcement.

Macten
Guest
Macten

As soon as the Officer who pulls you over runs your tag, he will know if you have a permit or not. You MUST inform him FIRST THING before chit-chat or he will not be happy. He might ask if you have a weapon or he might not, but you do not need to inform him if you have no permit. Always be truthful, the LEO’s appreciate that.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Always a great idea to inform, regardless. No law enforcement likes a surprise, if you catch my drift. But as for ‘duty to inform’ laws, it depends on the state legislation. SC is a duty to inform state, so if the permit holders are required to inform, I imagine non-holders don’t have an excuse beyond gross ignorance.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I moved to SC from Virginia several months ago and I’m currently a permanent resident of SC. I have a conceal carry permit from VA that is valid until 2022. Is my conceal carry permit from VA still valid in SC or do I need to get a SC conceal carry permit? I know that VA & SC have reciprocity but does the fact that I’m now a SC resident negate my VA CC permit?

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

It does. Your CCW is only valid if you are a resident of that state, regardless of reciprocation. Reciprocation simply means if you visit a state that reciprocates to the state of your residency (the one of which you have your license in), they’ll honor your permit to carry – BUT under THEIR the laws and legislation. So know the laws of the states you visit! But if you relocate to another state, you surrender your carrying permit of your previous residency and must reapply for the permit in which you now reside.

Gary
Guest
Gary

I’m from Indiana and will be traveling to South Carolina. I have a permit in Indiana. Can I leave the gun loaded in my car?

Steven Martin
Guest
Steven Martin

Yes you may. Stated specifically in the rules. Glove box or center console. Must inform officer by law.

Bob c
Guest
Bob c

If I move to sc and have a carry license in ma do have retake courses and or what is the process to get a sc license? Thnxs

Joey
Guest
Joey

Yes.

Raven
Guest
Raven

Does an electric company count as federal property? Can you have a gun in your vehicle while there? At the VA you can’t even have one in your car, and I’ve never actually gone to the power company to pay a bill, but certain circumstances have required me to do so for this month.

Joey
Guest
Joey

The electrical company it self is not a federal entity, although check for legal signs and postages.

James
Guest
James

Under “other ccw statutes” – “23.31.215-reciprocity” , states that in-spite of non reciprocal states, SC automatically recognizes NC and GA ccw permits. Am I understanding that correctly? Provision does effectively recognize GA/NC ccw as reciprocal in SC?

Peter
Guest
Peter

From a legal perspective I am looking for some clarity. I am a Uk passport holder married to an American we only spend a few months a year in the USA.
The wife owns both a hand gun and a shot gun- all registered to our S.C. address.I am not resident of the state nor am I the registered owner of our property however I often drive our truck with the firearm either locked in a case placed in the back of the truck or in the centre console.
Is this a violation?

KD Ponder
Guest
KD Ponder

SC does not register weapons.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I haven’t seen anything regarding long guns except it is legal to open carry a shotgun or rifle in sc. I’m not gonna test this theory until I am exactly sure of everything, and still don’t plan on walking down the street with an ar strapped to myself. I have wondered tho about a legal 18” shotgun loaded on the front seat of the car, it won’t fit in a dash, and no, it’s not a sbs (short barreled shotgun) it’s 18” barrel and a 5” talon hand grip I believe is the proper name. It’ll hold 8 rounds 12gauge… Read more »

J.J.
Guest
J.J.

I am also wondering the same thing for nearly the same situation. I have also noticed that long guns are acceptable (I’m sure that it can only be done in authorized locations), but I’m curious about the where, when and how. What I’d like to do is be able to go for a hike with a full-sized shotgun slung to my front (or rear). Yes, I’m sure it would be easier if I get a hunting licence and hike during hunting season in authorized hunting areas. Even so, why must I (and anyone who’d like to join me) to be… Read more »

Joey
Guest
Joey

Carrying a long gun in your cabin is completely legal. Although, it must be unloaded and separate from its ammo’. At the same time, you would only allowed to do this traveling to and from a state or private hunting ground and would have to display true meaning of doing so. You can not legally drive around with your long guns day in and day out displayed in the back window of your truck.

Samdy
Guest
Samdy

What is brandishing?

Ginger
Guest
Ginger

Publicly waving or showing a weapon in an aggressive or dominant manner. Causing fear to surrounding people.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Brandishing is not only by motions deemed ‘agressive’; revealing your firearm in any means to the general public also falls under the definition of brandishing, either intentional or unintentional. If your shirt either fails to hide the shape or entirety of your weapon, that is a form of brandishing known as printing. Having your hand sitting on your weapon even though it’s hidden under your clothing is also considered brandishing. The idea is for the general public to have no knowledge of your position as an armed civilan, hence why it’s called ‘concealed carry’. They don’t ask/know, you don’t tell.

Thought Criminal
Guest
Thought Criminal

As long as they don’t see it. What they guess is in your pocket does not put you in violation of the law.

john krienke
Guest
john krienke

I would think that a state that gives reciprocity to the state of ga would honor the laws of said state now my problem is that I am not permitted to open carry in sc and by law I can open carry in ga

Robert Berry
Guest
Robert Berry

I have a Concealed Carry permit from Florida where I moved from to Mt Pleasant , SC. Do I have to take firearm training in South Carolina to get a permit here?

Bryan R Pesce
Guest
Bryan R Pesce

yes

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

Can I have a loaded hand gun in a long term stay at a motel or efficiency apt. without a permit?

KEYLA
Guest
KEYLA

Why are the laws so weird and different from California is this supposed to be a joke or something this is so um….
how do i explain this difficult conversation . I mean yes- without a permit open carry . !OMG JUST WOW!

samuel heller
Guest
samuel heller

Not legal to have weapon in the car with CCW seems to be at cross purposes with the whole CCW philosophy. How can this be true.

Rick Gracie
Guest
Rick Gracie

What seems to be the “snafu” in establishing reciprocity between SC and Pa. concerning concealed carry?

Rhonda Head
Guest
Rhonda Head

is it illegal for a 17 yr old to have a gun locked in a car

Ronnie Cochran
Guest
Ronnie Cochran

No as long as you can legally possess a weapon , also I think in SC a 17 yr old is considered a adult.
The only thing that would prevent you from carrying a weapon in your car is a felony conviction or a mental health issue.
Open carry here is coming soon I pray, not that I need to (look big or intimidating) I just feel as a American the constitution is clear cut.

joe
Guest
joe

SC does need to pass its new open carry constitution carry law. If you think this will turn into the wild west you need to look at other constitution carry states. Look at GA for example. We in SC are behind the times on many issues.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Joe, I agree with u, but I feel SC should incorporate their own background check and not depend the idiots in the DC area

KEYLA
Guest
KEYLA

ya i also agrre with you 100%

Maverick
Guest
Maverick

Why would anyone want to open carry! To show off “Hey I Got A Gun!” No one needs to know your personal business. Concealed carry is the most practical and safe way to carry a firearm. The only people I know that want to open carry are the ones that want to look “Big”!

Thomas Shea
Guest
Thomas Shea

With open carry the formula changes. You lose the element of surprise and you now are high profiling and may indeed become a target of opportunity.

P goodman
Guest
P goodman

Element of surprise ? That’s stupid. THE idea of surprise, that means the CRIMMINAL has already started his/her attack or action to harm or Rob. Dumb ! With open carry, recognized in 45 states, its not a matter of ‘surprise’, it’s the element that says, ‘you can clearly see CRIMMINAL that I have a means to protect my family and self. Just as with snakes, wasps, spiders, etc., you recognize these animals that are capable of hurting (you back). S.C. IS out of touch with statistics of violent crime….continually on the rise. I don’t want to surprise the perpetrator, I… Read more »

Brandon C.
Guest
Brandon C.

I agree…

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

U are so right about that

Frankthomas
Guest
Frankthomas

No one needs to know , if the sisutation come up , then I’m gonna take responsibility for my action , as well as anyone else ,

Victor
Guest
Victor

Maverick, I completely agree with you. I live in Texas and forever, I was waiting for the open carry law and when it passed, I never had the desire to open carry. I still have not open carried because I feel like you lose the element of surprise in case of an emergency. In on this blog because I am moving to South Carolina soon and I’m trying to familiarize myself with the state gun laws.

Arc
Guest
Arc

I open carry a flamethrower. What does that say about me?

Steve
Guest
Steve

You are a heavy smoker

Delta Ranger
Guest
Delta Ranger

Open carrying a firearm doesn’t make anyone look big or otherwise in my opinion. I can do personally carry either way. I’m prior Service but in this instance it doesn’t matter. If someone has had the proper firearm safety courses, it should be left up to the individual if they choose to open carry or conceal their weapon. United States is supposed to be a free country but if one has to buy or ask permission to own an item or be in possession of a weapon, with respect to their individual background and or History, a truly free American… Read more »

Barry Sowell
Guest
Barry Sowell

There are two thought on open carry, the latter of which I agree. The firs is that an open carry could potentially motivate provocation on the part of the public, or triger paranoid delusion that he or she is a nut job, thereby the target for verbal abuse. The second thought, which I favor, even though I choose concealment, is that a weapon brandished for, as Willie Nelson so elequenty put it “for all the world to feel” is certainly an obstacle for a criminals. In the end, it’s a a sad state of humanity that we have to defend… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Because it can prevent and deter a crime that may happen. I would imagine if I had a plan to attach someone. And I see that they or someone around them has a gun most likely I would not attack. Has nothing to do with looking big or tough or mean. Has everything to do with safety.

paul goodman
Guest
paul goodman

NO , NOT SAY “HEY, I GOT A GUN”. WHEN MY AGE. 70. STILL VERY PROFICIENT IN WEAPON USAGE. OPEN CARRY, (ONLY 5 STATES DO NOT HAVE OPEN CARRY, (D.C., CALIFORNIA, GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA & FLORIDA). AT 70, CAN’T RUN FAST, CAN’T FIST FIGHT AS WHEN YOUNG. THE ATTITUDE IS, “DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HARM OR ROB ME, FOR I CAN STING YOU”. IT WORKS VERY WELL IN OPEN CARRY STATES. DO RESEACH. HOW MANY OLDER PEOPLE OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL THAT HAVE A WEAPON ON THEIR HIP ARE ROBBED OR HARMED ?…ZERO!…0….NONE….NADDA….ZIP. OPEN CARRY, BEST POLICY. S.C. IS BEHIND… Read more »

Robert C Lagoda
Guest
Robert C Lagoda

Some valid points of discussion here, but U.S. Constitution, 2nd A TRUMPS all of them. Concealed is the perfered method for me… But my shorts won’t get twisted into a knot if I see open carry. Far less of a target if criminals saw and knew that their nefarious intent had consequences. …

Jay
Guest
Jay

Although I agree with you because you have a valid point, I also think that an individual should have the right to open carry if they are able to do so responsibly.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

As a north carolina resident I think sc needs to pass open carry. It should be legal period it’s part of the constitution right! It does not say in the constitution it’s your right to keep and bare arms but you must follow 227 different guidelines just for your state plus any other state. Constitution carry should be law and if you pass a ccp permit check take the class you should be allowed to carry in any state without any issues. That was the constitution people got but hurt and put feelings into what was written into law. Long… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

I agree. I also live 6 minutes from the state line. It’s the closest and cheapest place to get gas, grocery shop and eat. It’s a pain to change carry for a quick trip.

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