South Carolina protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 20 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. South Carolina requires a concealable carry permit to carry a weapon openly or concealed on (or near) you body or vehicle unless you are in your house, at your place of business, or on your own property. (S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-20.)
For more information on permitting laws, see Gun Permit Laws in South Carolina.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon in South Carolina.
(S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-215.)
The following rules govern when you may not carry a gun in South Carolina.
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.)
Penalties for carrying a firearm on school premises, in law enforcement offices or facilities, in court facilities, at polling places on election days, in churches or other religious sanctuaries, or in hospitals or medical facilities include a fine of at least $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. (S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-215.)
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious, and often include harsh fines and long prison sentences. 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 violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.