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South Carolina Gun Laws

South Carolina has very permissive gun laws. The state constitution guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” and South Carolina has very few restrictions on firearms ownership. Most types of firearms and ammunition are legal in South Carolina. Obtaining a concealed carry license in South Carolina is a fairly straightforward process. These types of permissive laws have made South Carolina into an excellent state for firearms enthusiasts.

South Carolina Gun Laws at a Glance


Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted No
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check No
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements


No type of license is required to obtain a firearm in South Carolina

Background Checks


South Carolina does not require background checks on firearms transfers through unlicensed sellers. Per federal regulations, any transferee buying from a licensed seller will be subject to a background check.

Gun Shows


South Carolina does not regulate gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons Not restricted
50 Caliber Rifles Not restricted
Machine Guns Prohibited
Large Capacity Magazines Not restricted
Ammunition Teflon-coated bullets are prohibited.

Prohibited Persons


South Carolina prohibits any person from possessing or purchasing a firearm if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a violent crime in any court
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is a drunkard or drug addict
  • Is mentally incompetent
  • Is a member of a subversive organization
  • Is under age 18 (except for a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, active or reserve, National Guard, state militia or R.O.T.C., when on duty or training; and except for the temporary loan of a handgun for instruction under the immediate supervision of a parent or adult instructor)
  • Has been judged unfit to carry or possess a firearm

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Firearms are prohibited on any property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, or other post-secondary institution, or in any publicly-owned building without specific permission from the facility’s administrator. A concealed permit holder may carry his or her firearm in a locked vehicle if the gun is secured in a closed compartment or closed container transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.
Vehicles A person may not transport a firearm in a vehicle, with some exceptions. See below.

A person may transport a firearm in a vehicle if he or she is:

  • A holder of a concealable weapons permit and has the handgun concealed on his or her person
  • A licensed hunter or fisherman traveling to or from a hunting or fishing location while in a vehicle or on foot
  • Carrying an unloaded handgun in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his or her home or fixed place of business, or while transferring the location of residence or business
  • Transferring a handgun directly from or to a vehicle and a location where the person can lawfully be in possession of the handgun
  • On a motorcycle when the handgun is secured in a closed accessory container attached to the motorcycle
  • In a locked vehicle if the handgun is secured in a closed compartment or closed container transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle

Concealed Carry Laws


Notify Officer Yes
“No Gun” Signs Enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Yes
Restaurant Carry Yes
State Park Carry Yes
While Hunting Yes

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

South Carolina is a ‘shall issue’ state. This means that the licensing authority must issue a concealed carry license to any applicant who meets certain qualifications.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
A permit must be issued to any applicant who is at least 21 years of age, not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, and who has submitted sufficient “proof of training.”

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

To be issued a concealed carry permit, applicants must submit proof of handgun training. This generally refers to a document that proves the applicant has demonstrated proficiency in the use of handguns and the laws pertaining to handguns. Alternatively, the applicant may have completed a handgun education course within the last three years

  • Such a course must include:
  • State law relating to handguns and the use of deadly force
  • Handgun use and handgun safety
  • Proper storage practice for handguns, including storage practices that reduce the possibility of injury to a child
  • The actual firing of a handgun in the presence of an instructor

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a concealed carry permit, you may not carry a concealed firearm in the following locations:

  • Any private or public school, college, university, technical college or other post-secondary institution without the permission of the location’s administrator
  • Any publicly owned building or property without permission from those in charge
  • School or college athletic events not related to firearms
  • Daycare or preschool facilities
  • Offices of, or the business meeting of, the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or special-purpose district
  • Law enforcement offices or facilities
  • Detention or correctional facilities
  • Courthouses or courtrooms
  • Polling places on election days
  • Churches or other established religious sanctuary without permission of the governing body
  • Hospital, doctors office, medical clinic or any building in which medical services are performed
  • Private places marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon
  • Lodging establishments (where posted)
  • Residence or dwelling of another person without express permission by that person
  • State Capitol building or grounds
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.