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 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.
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, WyomingNON-RESIDENT
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;
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 state capitol building
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.
16.23.20 – Exceptions to unlawful carry 21.31.230 – Carry between vehicle & accomodation
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.
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;
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
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)
A permit issued pursuant to this section does not authorize a permit holder to carry a concealable weapon into a:
Except as provided for in item (10), a person who willfully violates a provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.
(5)“Concealable weapon” means a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension that must be carried in a manner that is hidden from public view in normal wear of clothing except when needed for self-defense, defense of others, and the protection of real or personal property.”
(A) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm of any kind on any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, other post-secondary institution, or in any publicly-owned building, without the express permission of the authorities in charge of the premises or property. The provisions of this subsection related to any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, or other post-secondary institution, do not apply to a person who is authorized to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 when the weapon remains inside an attended or locked motor vehicle and is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.”
Carrying Concealed Weapons Into Residences or Dwellings.
No person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 may carry a concealable weapon into the residence or dwelling place of another person without the express permission of the owner or person in legal control or possession, as appropriate. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.
For purposes of this article:
(a) “passenger” means any individual served by a public transportation provider including charter bus activities;
(b) “bus” means any passenger bus or other motor vehicle having a seating capacity of not less than ten passengers operated by a public transportation provider for the purpose of carrying passengers, including charter passengers;
(c) “public transportation” is as defined in item (10) of Section 58-25-20;
(d) “public transportation provider” means any operator who offers or delivers public transportation;
(e) “public transportation vehicle” means any configuration of equipment for the purpose of providing public transportation.
General Prohibitions; Persons Who May Be Refused Transportation; Violations and Penalties.
(a) It is unlawful for any passenger to commit any of the following acts in a bus or any other public transportation vehicle:
(3) carry or possess any weapon, explosives, acids, other dangerous articles, or live animals, except for a seeing eye dog or a hearing ear dog properly harnessed and accompanied by its owner, small animals properly packaged, or weapons carried by or animals used by a law enforcement official;
(d) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction for a first offense must be imprisoned for not more than thirty days or fined not more than two hundred dollars, for a second offense, imprisoned for not more than sixty days or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both, and for a third or subsequent offense, imprisoned for not more than ninety days or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.
(A) It is unlawful for any person or group of persons to:
(B) This section does not apply to a person who possesses a concealable weapons’ permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 and is authorized to park on the capitol grounds or in the parking garage below the capitol grounds. The firearm must remain locked in the person’s vehicle while on or below the capitol grounds and must be stored in a place in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any person upon entry to or below the capitol grounds.
(N) Issuance of Permits.
(4) “Proof of training” means an original document or certified copy of the document supplied by an applicant that certifies that he is either:
(a) a person who, within three years before filing an application, has successfully completed a basic or advanced handgun education course offered by a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or a nationally recognized organization that promotes gun safety. This education course must include, but is not limited to:
(b) a person who demonstrates any of the following must comply with the provisions of sub item (a)(i) only:
(c) an instructor certified by the National Rifle Association or another SLED approved competent national organization that promotes the safe use of handguns;
(d) a person who can demonstrate to the Director of SLED or his designee that he has a proficiency in both the use of handguns and state laws pertaining to handguns;
(e) an active duty police handgun instructor;
(f) a person who has a SLED certified or approved competitive handgun shooting classification; or
(g) a member of the active or reserve military, or a member of the National Guard.
SLED shall promulgate regulations containing general guidelines for courses and qualifications for instructors which would satisfy the requirements of this item. For purposes of sub items (a) and (b), “proof of training” is not satisfied unless the organization and its instructors meet or exceed the guidelines and qualifications contained in the regulations promulgated by SLED pursuant to this item.
(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any requirement of or allowance for the posting of signs prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon upon any premises shall only be satisfied by a sign expressing the prohibition in both written language interdict and universal sign language.
(B) All signs must be posted at each entrance into a building where a concealable weapon permit holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon and must be:
(C) If the premises where concealable weapons are prohibited does not have doors, then the signs contained in subsection (A) must be:
Issuance of Permits.
(K) A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon. When carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 31 of Title 23, a permit holder must inform a law enforcement officer of the fact that he is a permit holder and present the permit identification card when an officer (1) identifies himself as a law enforcement officer and (2) requests identification or a driver’s license from a permit holder. A permit holder immediately must report the loss or theft of a permit identification card to SLED headquarters. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined twenty five dollars.
(B)(1) This section does not apply to a person carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23; however, the person shall not consume alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine while carrying the concealable weapon on the business’ premises. A person who violates this item may be charged with a violation of subsection (A).
(1) “Handgun” means any firearm designed to expel a projectile and designed to be fired from the hand, but shall not include any firearm generally recognized or classified as an antique, curiosity, or collector’s item, or any that does not fire fixed cartridges.
(10) “Luggage compartment” means the trunk of a motor vehicle which has a trunk; however, with respect to a motor vehicle which does not have a trunk, the term “luggage compartment” refers to the area of the motor vehicle in which the manufacturer designed that luggage be carried or to the area of the motor vehicle in which luggage is customarily carried. In a station wagon, van, hatchback vehicle, truck, or sport utility vehicle, the term “luggage compartment” refers to the area behind the rearmost seat.
Unlawful Carrying of Handgun; Exceptions.
It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law:
(1) regular, salaried law enforcement officers, and reserve police officers of a state agency, municipality, or county of the State, uncompensated Governor’s constables, law enforcement officers of the federal government or other states when they are carrying out official duties while in this State, deputy enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and retired commissioned law enforcement officers employed as private detectives or private investigators;
(2) members of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, organized reserves, or the State Militia when on duty;
(3) members, or their invited guests, of organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms from the United States or this State or regularly enrolled members, or their invited guests, of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting or collecting modern and antique firearms while these members, or their invited guests, are at or going to or from their places of target practice or their shows and exhibits;
(4) licensed hunters or fishermen who are engaged in hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing while in a vehicle or on foot;
(5) a person regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, repossessing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of this person, while possessing, using, or carrying a handgun in the usual or ordinary course of the business;
(6) guards authorized by law to possess handguns and engaged in protection of property of the United States or any agency of the United States;
(7) members of authorized military or civil organizations while parading or when going to and from the places of meeting of their respective organizations;
(8) a person in his home or upon his real property or a person who has the permission of the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of the home or real property;
(9) a person in a vehicle if the handgun is:
(10) a person carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his home or fixed place of business or while in the process of changing or moving one’s residence or changing or moving one’s fixed place of business;
(11) a prison guard while engaged in his official duties;
(12) a person who is granted a permit under provision of law by the State Law Enforcement Division to carry a handgun about his person, under conditions set forth in the permit, and while transferring the handgun between the permittee’s person and a location specified in item (9);
(13) the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of a fixed place of business, while at the fixed place of business, and the employee of a fixed place of business, other than a business subject to Section 16-23-465, while at the place of business; however, the employee may exercise this privilege only after: (a) acquiring a permit pursuant to item (12), and (b) obtaining the permission of the owner or person in legal control or legal possession of the premises;
(14) a person engaged in firearms related activities while on the premises of a fixed place of business which conducts, as a regular course of its business, activities related to sale, repair, pawn, firearms training, or use of firearms, unless the premises is posted with a sign limiting possession of firearms to holders of permits issued pursuant to item (12);
(15) a person while transferring a handgun directly from or to a vehicle and a location specified in this section where one may legally possess the handgun.
(16) Any person on a motorcycle when the pistol is secured in a closed saddlebag or other similar closed accessory container attached, whether permanently or temporarily, to the motorcycle.
Carrying concealed weapons between automobile and accommodation.
Notwithstanding any provision of law, any person may carry a concealable weapon from an automobile or other motorized conveyance to a room or other accommodation he has rented and upon which an accommodations tax has been paid.
Regulation of ownership, transfer, or possession of firearm or ammunition; discharge on landowner’s own property.
No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance that regulates or attempts to regulate:
(1) the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things; or
(2) a landowner discharging a firearm on the landowner’s property to protect the landowner’s family, employees, the general public, or the landowner’s property from animals that the landowner reasonably believes pose a direct threat or danger to the landowner’s property, people on the landowner’s property, or the general public. For purposes of this item, the landowner’s property must be a parcel of land comprised of at least twenty-five contiguous acres. Any ordinance regulating the discharge of firearms that does not specifically provide for an exclusion pursuant to this item is unenforceable as it pertains to an incident described in this item; otherwise, the ordinance is enforceable.
Power to Regulate Public Use of Firearms; Confiscation of Firearms or Ammunition.
This article does not affect the authority of any county, municipality, or political subdivision to regulate the careless or negligent discharge or public brandishment of firearms, nor does it prevent the regulation of public brandishment of firearms during the times of or a demonstrated potential for insurrection, invasions, riots, or natural disasters. This article denies any county, municipality, or political subdivision the power to confiscate a firearm or ammunition unless incident to an arrest.
Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
90 Days The application for a concealed carry permit/license must be processed within 90 days of the application being received.
No, you will need to submit your renewal application on the paper form and mail it in.
You can download the replacement form and follow the instructions.
It usually takes from 45 – 90 days to issue a replacement permit.
No, nothing in the law says you must redo training if your permit has expired for more than 60 days past the expiry date.
If you move to another state your SC permit must be returned to SLED. You can mail it in with a note and your details will be updated.
No, you can leave the training section blank for renewals.
Yes, disabled veterans are exempt from paying any CWP fee. You will need to supply a VA card to confirm your status.
If you are an active member of the military you are exempt from training. For retired members of the military you will only need to do the legal part of the training.
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Address 4400 Broad River Road
City Columbia, SC29210
Phone (803) 896-7015