South Carolina is a “Shall Issue” state based on local law. Residents and Non-Residents are allowed to obtain conceal carry permits, as long as non-residents own property in the state.
Military personal are exempted, and applicants must be 21, have 20/40 vision, and have completed a training course. Non-resident permits are not honored from different states.
South Carolina Gun Laws Quick Facts
❌ No - South Carolina is not considered a constitutional carry state.
Open Carry Permitted?
✅ Yes - There was a recent change to this law. Currently the bill covering open carry (HB 3094) states that residents of South Carolina are allowed to open carry so long as they have a South Carolina CWP (concealed weapons permit). Non residents must have a CCW permit from a state that South Carolina has a reciprocal relationship with. You must be aware that local cities or towns have the right to prohibit open carrying for public events.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - South Carolina allows for concealed (or open) carry so long as you have a South Carolina CWP or a permit from a reciprocal state. If you do not have a permit then you must transport your firearm in a locked case within a closed compartment (glovebox, center console, trunk, etc).
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - South Carolina allows for concealed carry within their state parks so long as you have a CWP or a permit from a reciprocal state.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ Yes - South Carolina allows for concealed carry within restaurants or bars with a CWP or a permit from a reciprocal state so long as you are not intoxicated whatsoever.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
✅ Yes - South Carolina recognizes no weapons signs as having the force of law behind them. If a sign is posted prohibiting concealed carry within their property, you must respect it.
Must Notify Officer?
✅ Yes - South Carolina is a duty to inform state. This requires all individuals to reveal they're concealed carrying upon any interaction with a LEO.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with South Carolina
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
Any individual who has a permit to conceal carry in another reciprocal U.S. state is legally allowed to carry a firearm in South Carolina. During their time in South Carolina, they will be subject to the laws of the county and state.
South Carolina: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state – except those listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- 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.
- 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.
South Carolina: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, there was a recent change to this law. Currently the bill covering open carry (HB 3094) states that residents of South Carolina are allowed to open carry so long as they have a South Carolina CWP (concealed weapons permit).
Non residents must have a CCW permit from a state that South Carolina has a reciprocal relationship with. You must be aware that local cities or towns have the right to prohibit open carrying for public events.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, 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 than 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 & accommodation
Carry In State Parks
Yes, it is legal to carry in the following areas:
- State Parks: YES – 51.3.145
- State/National Forests: YES – 51.3.145
- State Wildlife Management Areas: YES – 123.203
- Road Side Rest Areas: YES – 16.23.420
Carry In Restaurants
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 than it is illegal to enter. “Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol.
The Law 16.23.465
No, South Carolina is not considered a constitutional carry state.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
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.
Must Notify Officer
Yes, 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