South Carolina Constitutional Carry
South Carolina, a state known for its rich history and beautiful landscapes, has specific regulations when it comes to firearm possession and permits. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of South Carolina’s gun laws, from the application process for gun permits to the restrictions on firearm possession. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding these laws is crucial for staying compliant and ensuring your safety.
South Carolina is not a constitutional carry state, meaning that individuals need a gun permit to possess a firearm within the state’s territory. The state follows a shall-issue policy, obliging them to accept applications from qualified individuals seeking a gun permit. The processing of gun permits in South Carolina is overseen by the division of law enforcement within the state.
Applying for a Gun Permit in South Carolina
To obtain a gun permit in South Carolina, you can download the application form from the official website. The application process can be completed through physical submission, online registration, or via mail. Online applicants can schedule appointments on the website and electronically submit their fingerprints.
Required documents for the application include a state-issued driver’s license or ID card, proof of property for non-residents, a firearm training certificate from a state-approved instructor, and two fingerprint cards. The necessary fee must also be submitted, payable to the division of law enforcement.
Requirements for Gun Permit Eligibility
Before applying for a gun permit, ensure you meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You must be at least twenty-one years old.
- You must be a resident of South Carolina or a non-resident with property within the state.
- Completion of a state-approved concealed carry permit course for firearm training is mandatory.
- No convictions for felonies or violent crimes.
- Adequate vision is essential.
- No court orders prohibiting firearm possession, handling, or use in South Carolina.
- Compliance with all federal law requirements for a concealed carry permit in the United States.
Possession of Firearms in South Carolina
Concealed Carry Laws
South Carolina prohibits open carry of firearms, even for license holders. Residents with concealed carry licenses are allowed to conceal carry. Non-residents may also conceal carry if their state has reciprocity with South Carolina and they possess a valid gun permit. Non-resident property owners and military members stationed in the state for official duties can apply for a concealed carry license.
Restrictions on Firearm Possession
While possession of firearms is generally allowed, certain places are off-limits, including schools, universities, public buildings, childcare facilities, government properties, and polling places during elections. Firearms are also restricted in places of worship, hospitals, mental health facilities, and areas marked with signage prohibiting weapons.
Where Firearms are Prohibited
Gun laws in South Carolina prohibit firearm possession in the following locations:
- Primary and secondary schools, universities, and educational institutions.
- Public buildings without permission from authorities.
- Events organized by schools or colleges.
- Daycare or child care facilities.
- Government-owned buildings.
- Law enforcement agencies and properties.
- State prisons, jails, or correctional homes.
- Polling places during elections.
- Places of worship without permission.
- Hospitals, clinics, and mental health facilities.
- Private properties with no weapons signage.
- Lodging establishments with prohibitive management policies.
- State capitol building or premises.
- Areas prohibited by federal laws.
Application Process and Renewals
Gun permits in South Carolina are valid for five years and cost fifty dollars for both initial and renewal applications. The processing period for permits is ninety days. Residents receive a renewal application mail within ninety to one hundred and twenty days before the permit expires.
Address and name changes must be reported to the law enforcement division within ten days, accompanied by a five-dollar payment. Failure to do so may result in a twenty-five-dollar fine. Renewal applications must be submitted physically; online renewal is not available.
Lost or Stolen Permits
For lost or stolen pistol permits, applicants can apply for a replacement permit through the online application system. A five-dollar fee is required, and the replacement permit will be sent via mail after processing by the law enforcement division.
New Residents and Out-of-State Moves
New residents can apply for a pistol permit with proof of residency in South Carolina. If you move out of the state, the permit must be submitted to a law enforcement division, as it expires upon establishing residency elsewhere.
Constitutional Carry and Local Regulations
While South Carolina is not a constitutional carry state, the state government holds the authority to regulate firearms within its local areas. Local subdivisions are prohibited from regulating firearm possession, transportation, sales, purchase, and licensing.
Understanding South Carolina’s gun laws is essential for responsible firearm ownership and compliance with regulations. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, knowing where you can and cannot possess firearms ensures your safety and the safety of those around you. Always stay informed and adhere to the laws to enjoy a safe and peaceful experience in the beautiful state of South Carolina.
- Can I carry a firearm without a permit in South Carolina? No, South Carolina requires a gun permit for firearm possession within the state.
- Who oversees the processing of gun permits in South Carolina? The division of law enforcement in South Carolina is responsible for processing gun permits.
- Can I carry firearms in state parks and wildlife areas? Yes, South Carolina allows concealed carry in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.
- Are there places where firearm possession is prohibited in South Carolina? Yes, firearm possession is prohibited in certain places, including schools, government buildings, polling places during elections, and more.
- What is the renewal process for gun permits in South Carolina? Gun permits in South Carolina are valid for five years. Renewal applications are sent to residents before the permit expires, and the process must be done in person.