South Carolina is not a constitutional carry state, and you need a gun permit to possess a firearm within the state’s territory. It has a shall-issue policy for the application of gun permits, and the state is obliged to accept every application from a qualified applicant. The processing of gun permits in South Carolina is done by the division of law enforcement in the state.
You do not require a gun permit, or need to complete a criminal record background check before you purchase a firearm from private sellers and gun shows organized in the state.
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Possession of Firearms in South Carolina
South Carolina prohibits the open carry of firearms even for licensees in the state. Residents of the state that have a concealed gun license are allowed to conceal carry, while non-residents can conceal carry if they have a gun permit from their state, and the state has reciprocity with South Carolina. However, nonresidents that are property owners in South Carolina and members of the military stationed in the state for official duties can apply for a concealed gun license.
To apply for the license, you are required to complete firearm training that is state-approved. The age requirement to apply is a minimum of twenty-one years old. The state laws define some places as off-limits, and you are prohibited from possessing firearms in such places.
You can carry firearms in private vehicles with or without a pistol permit issued by the state or anyone from a state that it recognizes. But if you are carrying without a pistol permit, the firearm must be safe and stored away in the trunk of the vehicle, the glove compartment, or any other case.
According to the gun statutes of South Carolina, you can possess firearms in roadside areas if you have a South Carolina pistol license or anyone issued by a state it recognizes. Gun laws in the state also indicate that you can conceal carry firearms in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.
You can also conceal carry in restaurant and bar areas of the state as long as you have a South Carolina gun permit or a permit from a state it recognizes. However, you cannot possess firearms if there is a post prohibiting such or you are not under the influence of alcohol.
A person in charge of a hotel can refuse to provide accommodation to anyone in possession of a firearm or any weapon believed to be dangerous. The state allows hotel management to develop gun policies for the possession of firearms in their facilities. Therefore, you are not automatically allowed to carry firearms if you are a permit holder.
You can possess a firearm while hunting in South Carolina, but for bow hunting, you must have a permit before you conceal firearms. During primitive seasons, you cannot make use of your firearms to take any game. The only weapons for hunting in this season are archery equipment and muzzleloaders.
Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in South Carolina
Gun laws in South Carolina prohibit the possession of firearms in some parts of the state. Regardless of if you are a permit holder or not, you are not allowed to possess firearms in these places. However, exceptions may be made for law enforcement officers, peace officers, and members of the national guard.
- You cannot possess firearms in schools, either primary or secondary, universities, and other educational institutions in the state.
- You cannot make use of firearms in a building accessible to the public, except you have permission from those in charge to do so.
- You cannot possess your firearm in any event organized by the management of schools or colleges.
- You cannot possess your firearms in any daycare or facility meant for children's care.
- You cannot make use of firearms in any building owned by the government of the state or any subdivision of the state.
- You cannot possess firearms in any law enforcement agency or a property used for their day-to-day activities.
- You cannot possess firearms in any of the state prisons, jails, or correctional homes.
- During elections in South Carolina, it is a prohibition to possess your firearm in any part of the state used as a polling place.
- You cannot make use of firearms in churches, synagogues, or mosques in the state, except the authority of such places permits you.
- You cannot possess firearms in any hospital, mental home, or clinic in the state, and this includes a doctor’s office, or any of the administrative offices, except you have permission to do so.
- It is a prohibition to be with your firearm in any private property or building that has signage restricting weapons on the premises.
- You cannot make use of your firearm or possess it in any establishment meant for lodging in the state if the management of such a place prohibits the act.
- You cannot possess your firearm in the state capitol building or its premises, except if you keep it locked away and concealed in your car.
- You cannot possess your firearms in areas of the state prohibited by federal laws.
Application of Gun Permits in South Carolina
You can download the application form online and after completing it, you can either submit it physically, go online for registration, or you make the application via mail. For online applications, visit the site and make an appointment. You can also take your fingerprint and send it electronically.
Some of the documents you have to submit with the application form include a state-issued driver’s license or ID card, proof of property with tax form for non-resident, a firearm training certificate with your signature, and that if the state-approved firearm instructor. You will also be required to provide two fingerprint cards and the mandated fee, payable to the division of law enforcement in South Carolina.
Military members that are actively in service must provide a military order, while retired and honorably discharged members must provide proof. Retired law enforcement officers, honorably discharged members of the military, and disabled veterans are exemptions for permit fees in South Carolina. You will receive a notification by mail if your application is accepted.
South Carolina CCW permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal application. Both initial and renewal permits cost fifty dollars each. The processing period for permits in South Carolina is ninety days.
You will get a renewal application mail within a period of ninety to one hundred and twenty days before the permit expires, and there is no online renewal in South Carolina.
For any change of address or name, you must first write the South Carolina law enforcement division within ten days of effecting the change and send a payment of five dollars. The law enforcement division will issue a new license with the new name or the new address.
Failure to notify the law enforcement division means that you will pay a fine of twenty-five dollars. You will continue to make use of your current permit before you get the new permit with your updated details. After receiving the updated permit, return the old one to the South Carolina law enforcement division.
For missing or stolen pistol permits, apply for a replacement permit using the online application system. This will cost a five dollars’ fee. You will also receive the replacement permit via mail after the law enforcement division has processed it.
New residents can apply for a pistol permit as soon as they have proof of residency in South Carolina. If you are moving out of South Carolina to live in another state, you have to submit the permit to a law enforcement division because it expires immediately if you establish residency in the state.
Requirements for the Possession of Firearms in South Carolina
Before you qualify for gun permit application in South Carolina, you must meet all requirements provided by gun laws of the state. If you apply without meeting the necessary requirements, your application will be rejected. South Carolina is a shall-issue state, and under obligation to issue gun permits to every applicant that meets these requirements.
- You must be at least twenty-one years old.
- You must be a resident of South Carolina or a non-resident that has property in the state.
- You must enroll and qualify for a South Carolina concealed carry permit course for firearm training.
- You must not be a convict for any felony or a crime that has to do with violence.
- You must not have a bad vision.
- You must not have a court order that prohibits you from using, handling, and possessing firearms in South Carolina.
- You must meet all federal law requirements for a concealed carry permit in the United States.
Is Constitutional Carry in South Carolina Permitted in Some Parts of the State?
The state government of South Carolina has the power to regulate firearms in all local areas of the state. The legislature prohibits political subdivisions in the state from regulating the possession, transportation, sales, purchase and licensing of firearms in the state.
This means that permitless carry South Carolina is prohibited in all parts of the state.