South Carolina State Seal

South Carolina Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my South Carolina permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
459k
Permits Issued
25
STATES HONORED
35
RECIPROCATING STATES
5.1M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
14
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
9%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS PERMIT VALID
23
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

NEED ANSWERS NOW?

There’s a lot of information here, but our Customer Engagement Team is your best resource for help in a hurry.

Click to chat with someone on our team now.

Summary of South Carolina Gun Laws

South Carolina is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. 

Open carry of a handgun is illegal in South Carolina.

Concealed carry is legal with a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permits (CWP) or a license/permit from a state that South Carolina honors. CWPs are issued to residents, non-residents who own property in the state and military personnel stationed in South Carolina. Concealed carry permits require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. The minimum age to obtain a CWP is 21 years old. In terms of reciprocity, South Carolina does not honor non-resident permits from other states. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. 

South Carolina is a Castle Doctrine state. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in a place where he or she has a right to be, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself, or another person, or to prevent the commission of a violent crime. This protection applies in your home, vehicle, in public (such as on a sidewalk or at the mall) or at your business.

USCCA Membership Card

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Learn More

South Carolina Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does South Carolina allow constitutional carry?

No. South Carolina does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in South Carolina?

No. South Carolina does not allow open carry.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If South Carolina requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

South Carolina is a shall-issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in South Carolina to get a concealed carry permit?

The minimum to carry concealed in South Carolina is 21.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in South Carolina with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. "Concealable weapon" means a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension that must be carried in a manner that is hidden from public view in normal wear of clothing except when needed for self-defense, defense of others and the protection of real or personal property.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-210(5)]

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in South Carolina?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit.

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in South Carolina?

Yes, it is lawful to possess a container not exceeding 50cc containing tear gas for self-defense purposes only.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-470]

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does South Carolina issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes, to non-residents who own property in the state and military personnel stationed in South Carolina.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does South Carolina allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

South Carolina makes the information available for law enforcement. In addition, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) must publish a report annually during the first quarter which includes detailed information regarding individuals who have had their permit revoked and the reason for the revokation.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in South Carolina?

Yes, with a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit or a license/permit from a state that South Carolina honors. Without a permit the firearm must be secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console or closed trunk.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-20].

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in South Carolina?

Yes, with a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit or a license/permit from a state that South Carolina honors

[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-420(f)]

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in South Carolina?

Yes, with a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit or a license/permit from a state that South Carolina honors.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 51-3-145(G)]

[S.C. DNR Public Lands Regulations § 123-203(B)]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in South Carolina?

Yes, South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit or a license/permit from a state that South Carolina honors, unless posted and provided you do not consume any alcohol.

[S.C. Code Ann. §16-23-465]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does South Carolina have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in South Carolina state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in South Carolina?

Yes. You must notify an officer when carrying a concealed handgun.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-215(K)]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does South Carolina have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. South Carolina does not regulate magazine capacity for handguns.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does South Carolina have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. The possession and sale of teflon-coated ammunition is prohibited.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in South Carolina? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes. All signs must be posted at each entrance into a building where a concealable weapon permit holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon and must be:

  • Clearly visible from outside the building;
  • 8" by 12" tall;
  • Contain the words "NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED" in black 1" tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
  • Contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle 7" in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a 45° angle from the horizontal; and
  • Placed not less than 40" and not more than 60" 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 must be:

  •  36" by 48" tall;
  • Contain the words "NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED" in black 3" tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
  • Contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle 34" in diameter with a diagonal line that is 2" wide and runs from the lower left to the upper right at a 45° angle from the horizontal and must be a diameter of a circle whose circumference is 2" wide;
  • Placed not less than 40" and not more than 96" above the ground; and
  • Posted in sufficient quantities to be clearly visible from any point of entry onto the premises.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-235]

Preemption?

Does South Carolina have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except municipalities may regulate the careless or negligent discharge of firearms.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-510]

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-520]

Brandishing?

Does South Carolina state law define brandishing?

No. However, it is unlawful for a person to present or point at another person a loaded or unloaded firearm. This section must not be construed to abridge the right of self-defense or to apply to theatricals or like performances.

[S.C. Code § 16-23-410]

Red Flag Law?

Does South Carolina have a red flag law?

No. South Carolina does not have any Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws.

Carry while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Does South Carolina have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Not while consuming or under the influence.

[S.C Code Ann. § 23-31-400

[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-465]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in South Carolina?

No. You are not required to obtain a permit before purchasing a handgun in South Carolina.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in South Carolina?

No. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in South Carolina?

No. There is no waiting period required when buying a handgun in South Carolina.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in South Carolina?

No. Handgun registration is not required in South Carolina.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in South Carolina?

You must be at least 18 years old to possess or transport a handgun in South Carolina.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-30]

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in South Carolina?

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in South Carolina?

Yes, persons who have a CWP pursuant to SC-31-205 may possess a handgun while on any WMA. During a primitive weapons season (archery or muzzleloader), a handgun may not be used to take or attempt to take game.

[SC Hunting and Fishing Reg Guide

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in South Carolina?

Yes. It is unlawful for a person willfully to impede or obstruct another person from lawfully hunting, trapping, fishing, or harvesting marine species. 

[S.C. Code Ann. § 50-1-137]

Have Questions? Contact Our Award-Winning, Wisconsin-Based Member Services Team 24/7 at 800-674-9779​


State Constitutional Provision
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
ARTICLE 1, § 20

South Carolina Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does South Carolina honor?

Arizona (resident permits only)
Arkansas (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only and handguns only)
Idaho (Enhanced permits only and resident permits only)
Kansas (resident permits only)
Kentucky (resident permits only)
Louisiana (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Minnesota (resident permits only)
Mississippi (Enhanced permits only and resident permits only)
Missouri (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Nebraska (resident permits only)
New Mexico (resident permits only)
North Dakota (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Ohio (resident permits only)
Oklahoma (resident permits only)
South Dakota (Enhanced resident permits only )
Tennessee (resident permits only )
Texas (resident permits only )
Virginia (resident permits only )
West Virginia (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)

South Carolina honors resident permits from those states they have reciprocity agreements with.  The minimum age is 21 years old.


Other States' Reciprocity With South Carolina

Which states honor permits from South Carolina?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with South Carolina

Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

Take USCCA Membership for a Test Drive

Get a feel for your USCCA Membership and see exactly what we’ll do for you the instant you activate your benefits. It’s 100% risk-free with your 365-day, money-back guarantee.

Discover Membership

In addition to the most trusted legal protection money can buy, discover what else your USCCA Membership has in store for you…

Discover Membership

South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class;
  • Reside in South Carolina, or if a resident of another state, submit proof you own property in South Carolina;
  • Not have been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony;
  • Have actual or corrected vision of 20/40;
  • Not, by order of a circuit judge or county court judge of South Carolina, been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit and Renewals $50

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Non-residents who own property in the state and military personnel posted in South Carolina may apply for a non-resident permit. The process is the same as for residents.

Name/Address Changes:

Any change of permanent address must be communicated in writing to SLED within 10 days of the change accompanied by the payment of a fee of $5. SLED will then
issue a new permit with the new address. A permit holder’s failure to notify SLED in accordance with this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by a $25 fine. The original permit shall remain in force until receipt of the corrected permit identification card by the permit holder, at which time the original permit must be returned to SLED.

You may request a replacement CWP using the online system.  Once you have accessed the SCCWP Duplicate/Renewal link provided by IdentoGo you will have the option to update your information as intended, pay the $5 fee required to process the transaction, and SLED will be prompted to update your information as requested in our system and then will print your new credential and mail it to you. Once received please shred/destroy your old credential. If you would like to complete a paper Duplicate/Replacement, you may do so by following the directions stated using the CWP Replacement form.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

You may request a replacement CWP using the online system.  Once you have accessed the SCCWP Duplicate/Renewal link provided by IdentoGo you will have the option to update your information as intended, pay the $5 fee required to process the transaction, and SLED will be prompted to update your information as requested in our system and then will print your new credential and mail it to you. If you would like to complete a paper Duplicate/Replacement, you may do so by following the directions stated using the CWP Replacement form.


South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a firearm training course if required.

Step 2:

Applicants for new CWPs can choose to submit a paper application or use the online IdentoGo registration system. At this time, SLED will continue to process all submitted applications received from the IdentoGo appointments made online and any applications made by mail.

To use the online system, applicants begin the application online and set up an appointment at an available IdentoGo site. At the IdentoGo site you can submit your CWP application documentation and have your fingerprints taken and sent to SLED electronically.

Step 3:

To submit a paper application, review the guide for completing a new or renewal CWP paper application and download the application form.

To use the online system go to the IdentoGo site.

Step 4:

You will need the following documents:

  • Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID card;
  • Real property tax form R168 for non-resident applicants;
  • Application form signed by you and firearms instructor;
  • SLED CWP Instructor/Student Checklist;
  • 2 complete fingerprint cards; and
  • $50.00 fee (certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to SLED).

Active-duty military applicants must also submit military orders. Retired or former military applicants must submit a copy of their DD214.

If you are a Disabled Veteran, or Retired Law Enforcement you are EXEMPT from paying the $50 fee, but you must provide documentation proving such status.

Step 5:

For paper applications, mail information to:

CWP Application,
SLED Data Center,
P.O. Box 21398,
Columbia, SC 29221-1398

Step 6:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in South Carolina

Firearms training requires the applicant to demonstrate a proficiency in both the use of handguns and state laws pertaining to handguns. The applicant must have completed a handgun education course offered by a law enforcement agency or nationally recognized organization that promotes gun safety within the last three years. The course must include:

  • Information on state law relating to handguns and the use of deadly force;
  • Information on handgun use and safety;
  • Information on the proper storage practice for handguns, with an emphasis on storage practices that reduce the possibility of accidental injury to a child; and
  • The actual firing of the handgun in the presence of an instructor.

Find a USCCA Class in South Carolina

Find a Shooting Range Near You


South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Renewal applications are mailed out 90 – 120 days before permits expire. If your permit has been expired for more than 18 months then you MUST submit a paper renewal form and copy of your current SCDL, online renewal is not an option.

Step 2:

Renewal applicants can choose to submit a paper application or use the online IdentoGo registration system. At this time, SLED will continue to process all submitted applications received from the IdentoGo appointments made online and any applications made by mail. To submit a paper application, review the guide for completing a new or renewal CWP paper application and download the application form.

Step 3:

Complete the application. You will need the following documents:

  • Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID card;
  • Real property tax form R168 for non-resident applicants;
  • Resident aliens will need to submit a copy of their alien card; and
  • $50.00 fee (certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to SLED).

If you are a Disabled Veteran, or Retired Law Enforcement you are EXEMPT from paying the $50 fee, but you must provide documentation proving such status.

Step 4:

For paper renewals, send to:

SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
Attention CWP Renewal
PO Box 21398
Columbia, SC 29221

Step 5:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Per S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-600, qualified RLEOs may carry under LEOSA with an identification card and proof of annual firearms qualification. The agency or department must provide the qualified retired law enforcement officer with the opportunity to qualify to carry a firearm under the same standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms. Out-of-state RLEOs may contact local police/sheriff for annual qualification.


South Carolina Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in South Carolina?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted and provided you do not consume any alcohol.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Without a permit the firearm must be secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console or closed trunk.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry on public transportation? No.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in South Carolina?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Any private or public school, college, university, technical college or other post-secondary institution without the express permission of the authorities in charge;
  • School or college athletic event not related to firearms;
  • Day care or preschool facility;
  • Office of, or the business meeting of, the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or special-purpose district;
  • 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;
  • Lodging establishments that are posted;
  • Church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given the appropriate church official or governing body;
  • Hospital, doctors office, medical clinic or any building in which medical services are performed (unless given permission by employer);
  • Residence or dwelling of another person unless given express permission by the owner or authorized person;
  • Places clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

[S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-215(M)]


FAQ: South Carolina Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in South Carolina?

It is legal to own or open carry any kind of knife in South Carolina. It is legal to conceal carry any type of knife, so long as you do not use the knife to commit or aid in the commission of a crime. Knives are not allowed on elementary or secondary school property (SC Code Ann. 16-23-430) and counties and municipalities may have blade limits. 


South Carolina Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-03

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-09

Added IdentoGo information to permit application process and permit information links

2019-04-02

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-22

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2018-12-31

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-11-30

Added parking lot storage info to At A Glance table

2018-11-29

Clarified vehicle carry info in At A Glance table

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for South Carolina

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

Should you have any questions regarding the legal process, membership or any of the great features and benefits a USCCA Membership provides, feel free to contact our award-winning Wisconsin-based Member Services team at any time.