South Carolina is a “Shall Issue” state for concealed carry permits, but you do not need a license to purchase a rifle, handgun or shotgun in South Carolina. South Carolina also has a "Castle Doctrine” allowing a homeowner to use deadly force to protect their property, family and themselves. South Carolina also supports the “stand your ground” policy where you are not legally bound to retreat when attacked. You can stand your ground and fight back with force. Open carry is allowed for long guns but not for handguns. You can carry a handgun in your car without a license as long as it is hidden in a glove box or trunk. South Carolina gun laws also include an “alter-ego” clause that allows you to protect a family member or innocent bystander with force if they are the one attacked or threatened. South Carolina issues carry permits to residents and non-residents as long as they own property in South Carolina. Special dispensation is given to members of the military. There are currently 308,406 carry permits in the state.
South Carolina’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.
The following thirty-three states offer reciprocity for
South Carolina residents, 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, and Wyoming.
These states honor a South Carolina carry permit for non-residents:
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, and Wyoming. South Carolina honors permits from these twenty-three states, 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, and Wyoming. These seventeen states refused to honor a South Carolina concealed carry permit, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.
South Carolina is a “Shall Issue” state. Open carry is not allowed for handguns, only long guns, with or without a permit. You can carry the firearm in your vehicle, but it must be in the glove box or trunk, away from passengers. If you encounter an officer, you must notify them you are carrying. You can carry in state parks, wildlife preserves, and restaurants but you must also honor “no weapons” signs. You may not carry in any courthouse, jail, prison, detention center, law enforcement or government building, school or daycare, church, hospital or any federal “off limits” areas. Your permit is good for five years, and you must pay a $50 when you apply.
To apply for a concealed carry license, you must be at least 21 years old and have taken a firearms training course. You must have a photo ID, proof of residency, and submit to a background check and fingerprinting. You cannot be convicted of a felony. You must have 20/40 vision even if using corrective lenses. You must not have been deemed “unfit” to own a firearm by any judge, court or police official. South Carolina is not a constitutional carry state.
South Carolina is not a “point of contact” state, and therefore gun dealers must contact the FBI and use the NCIS system to run a background check before selling firearms to a buyer. Private sales do not require a background check. When you apply for a CCW a background check is performed, so you may buy a gun without going through that process again. You must present your license at the time of purchase. Unlicensed dealers do not need to run a background check before selling handguns.
|Permit type||Fees when getting a new permit||Renewal||Current license amendment||Fingerprint scan fee||Fee for firearm classes||Additional state fees|
|Concealed weapons permit (handguns)||$50.00||$50.00||$5.00||$125.00|
|State parks||Law enforcement office or facility|
|State and national forests||Detention or correctional facility|
|Road side rest areas||Courthouse or courtroom|
|Vehicle||Polling place on election days|
|All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden||Any publicly owned building or property without permission from persons in charge|
|State Capitol building or grounds|
|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|
|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|
|Monday – Friday:||8:00 am – 4:30 pm|
|Address:||South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
4400 Broad River Road
|City:||Columbia, SC 29210|
4400 Broad River Road Columbia, SC29210