What are the concealed carry laws in SC?
In our last blog post, we reviewed the gun laws in SC, with an emphasis on crimes and penalties – basically, when can you not carry a gun in SC. Below, we will take a look at when and where you can carry a gun in SC.
First, we will look at SC’s concealed carry laws including how to get a concealed weapon permit (CWP) in SC, then we will answer some common questions about concealed carry laws in SC.
Edit: SC’s “Open Carry with Training Act” amended SC’s gun laws effective August 15, 2021, and the changes include the right to open carry for concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders.
Concealed Carry Laws in SC
According to the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED), there were 492,646 active CWP holders in SC as of January 1, 2019, and 84,097 permits were issued in 2019 alone.
How do you get a CWP in SC, and do you need a CWP or another permit to own a handgun in SC?
Do You Need a Permit to Own a Gun in SC?
You do not need a permit to own a handgun, shotgun, or rifle in SC, and there is no registration required either. There are strict limits on where and how you can carry a handgun without a CWP, however, and SC is not an open-carry state.
You do need a CWP to carry a concealed handgun in SC.
How Do You Get a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) in SC?
If you are at least 21 years old and you are not prohibited by state law from possessing a firearm, SLED will issue a CWP to you once you provide them with:
- A completed application,
- A photo ID,
- Proof of residence or proof of ownership of property,
- Proof of 20/40 vision or better (or a valid driver’s license),
- Proof of the required firearms training,
- A $50.00 application fee, and
- Your fingerprints.
SLED will run a background check before issuing the permit and notify the sheriff of the county where you live, but they must issue the CWP if you pass the background check.
As a practical matter, many CWP firearms instructors will assist you in following through to get your CWP once you’ve completed the required training class.
Can I Appeal a Denial of My CWP?
If SLED denies your CWP permit, they must notify you within 90 days after your application was received. You can appeal to the Chief of SLED within 30 days after you receive notice of the denial, and then you have 30 days to appeal the Chief’s decision to the Administrative Law Court.
Questions About Concealed Carry Laws in SC
Now let’s answer some common questions about concealed carry laws in SC, including when and where you can carry a gun with a CWP and which states have reciprocity with SC (which states will honor a SC CWP).
Where Can I Carry a Gun Under SC Concealed Carry Laws?
If you have a CWP in SC, you can carry a handgun anywhere except the locations expressly prohibited in SC Code Section 23-31-215 (M) (see below). The gun must be concealed – SC is not an open-carry state.
Where Can I Not Carry a Gun Under SC Concealed Carry Laws?
SC Code Section 23-31-215 (M) says that a CWP does not authorize a permit holder to carry a weapon into a:
(1) law enforcement, correctional, or detention facility;
(2) courthouse or courtroom;
(3) polling place on election days;
(4) office of or the business meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district;
(5) school or college athletic event not related to firearms;
(6) daycare facility or preschool facility;
(7) place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law;
(8) church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body;
(9) hospital, medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed unless expressly authorized by the employer; or
(10) place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235.
A violation is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in prison and results in revocation of your CWP for five years.
How Do I Prevent CWP Holders from Bringing Firearms into My Business?
Even though you have a CWP, business owners have the right to prohibit firearms on their property by posting a sign at the entrance that says, “No Concealable Weapons Allowed.”
The sign must be posted at the entrance and must be:
(1) clearly visible from outside the building;
(2) eight inches wide by twelve inches tall in size;
(3) contain the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” in black one-inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
(4) contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle seven inches in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five degree angle from the horizontal;
(5) a diameter of a circle; and
(6) placed not less than forty inches and not more than sixty inches from the bottom of the building’s entrance door.
(C) If the premises where concealable weapons are prohibited does not have doors, then the signs contained in subsection (A) must be:
(1) thirty-six inches wide by forty-eight inches tall in size;
(2) contain the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” in black three- inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
(3) contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle thirty-four inches in diameter with a diagonal line that is two inches wide and runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five degree angle from the horizontal and must be a diameter of a circle whose circumference is two inches wide;
(4) placed not less than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches above the ground;
(5) posted in sufficient quantities to be clearly visible from any point of entry onto the premises.
Does a CWP in SC Allow Me to Carry a Handgun into Someone’s Home?
A CWP in SC does not allow you to carry your handgun into someone’s residence unless you have the permission of the homeowner or the person who is legally in possession of the property.
Where Can I Keep a Gun in My Car Under SC Concealed Carry Laws?
Anyone can carry a handgun in their vehicle (if they are not otherwise prohibited under SC or federal law) in a closed glove compartment, closed console, trunk, or secured container in the luggage compartment.
CWP holders can also drive with their handgun under their seat or in any storage compartment whether it is open or closed.
What States Have Reciprocity with SC for CWP Holders?
Although a SC concealed carry permit does not allow you to carry anywhere in the country, a majority of states do honor a SC CWP. The map below shows the states that honor SC concealed carry permits (green) and the states that do not honor a SC CWP (red).
Criminal Defense and Gun Rights Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, SC
The Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers at Coastal Law defend our clients against all types of criminal accusations, including firearms offenses.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or send us an email to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.