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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permits in south carolina

Gun Laws

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SC honors
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South Carolina CCW Dashboard

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South Carolina CCW Reciprocity


  • 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

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

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

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

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington


  • 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


  • 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

Permit Issued To

Residents, Non-Residents*
age required
cost of
Cwp permit

Years Permit
is valid

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.

Places Allowed in South Carolina

  • 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.

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

South Carolina does not have constitutional carry.
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

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


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


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 4400 Broad River Road

CityColumbia, SC29210

Phone (803) 896-7015

Updates & Data Sources

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GingerBryan R PesceWilliam BowlinPeterWayne Recent comment authors
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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.


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


ya i also agrre with you 100%


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”!

Rhonda Head
Rhonda Head

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

Rick Gracie
Rick Gracie

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

samuel heller
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.


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!


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

Robert Berry
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
Bryan R Pesce


john krienke
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


What is brandishing?


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


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 »


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?