South Carolina Gun Laws.

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in South Carolina.

In South Carolina, adults can purchase a handgun without a license. However, you must obtain a concealable handgun license to carry an open or concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body; unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your place of business. (S.C. Code Ann.§ 16-23-20.)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in South Carolina.

How to Obtain a Concealable Handgun License in South Carolina

To obtain a concealable handgun license, you must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must pay a $50 application fee and:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be a resident of South Carolina or a qualified nonresident (someone who owns real property in South Carolina, but is not a legal resident of the state)
  • not be prohibited by state law from possessing a weapon
  • provide proof of handgun safety training, and
  • provide proof of actual or corrected vision of at least 20/40, or provide a valid driver’s license.

(S.C. Code Ann.§ 23-31-215.)

Does South Carolina Recognize Concealed Handgun Licenses From Other States?

Yes. South Carolina recognizes concealed handgun carry permits issued by states with which South Carolina has entered into reciprocity agreements, as long as the reciprocal state:

  • requires permit applicants to pass a criminal background check, and
  • requires permit applicants to complete a firearms safety training course.

(S.C. Code Ann.§ 23-31-215.)

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s website provides a list of states with reciprocity agreements with South Carolina.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealable Handgun License

It is illegal to carry a handgun in South Carolina without a concealed carry license (unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your fixed place of business; or fall into other limited exceptions). Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. (S.C. Code Ann.§ 23-31-340.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in South Carolina, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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