Gun Laws in South Carolina

Explore comprehensive information on South Carolina's gun laws. Discover permit requirements, assault weapon laws, open and concealed carry details, Castle Doctrine, local restrictions, NFA weapons, and more. Be a responsible gun owner.

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes SC Code 23-31-210 South Carolina is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes SC Code 16-23-20 Open carry of long guns is allowed without a permit. Open carry of a handgun is allowed by individuals with a concealed weapon permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes SC Code 16-11-440
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes SC Code 23-31-510
SC Code 23-31-520
"No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance that regulates or attempts to regulate: (1) the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, ammunition, components, or any combination of these things..."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes SC Code 23-31-215

Understanding Gun Laws in South Carolina

As a responsible gun owner, it's crucial to understand the laws that govern firearm possession and use in your state. Today, we'll be focusing on the gun laws in South Carolina. We'll cover everything from permits and registration to the Castle Doctrine and local restrictions. Let's dive in!

Permits and Registration

In South Carolina, you do not need a state permit to purchase either long guns or handguns. This rule applies to both residents and non-residents. Additionally, the state does not require firearm registration. This means that once you've legally purchased your firearm, you don't need to register it with any state or local agency.

Assault Weapon Laws and Magazine Capacity

South Carolina does not have any laws specifically targeting assault weapons. This means that residents can legally own weapons that might be classified as "assault weapons" in other states. Similarly, there are no restrictions on magazine capacity in South Carolina. You can legally own and use high-capacity magazines without any special permits or licenses.

Concealed and Open Carry

While you don't need a permit to purchase or own a firearm in South Carolina, you do need a permit for concealed carry of handguns. South Carolina is a "shall issue" state, which means that the state must issue a concealed carry permit to any citizen or lawful permanent resident who is 21 years or older and meets the legal requirements. You can find more details about these requirements in SC Code 23-31-210.

As for open carry, long guns can be openly carried without a permit. However, if you wish to openly carry a handgun, you must have a concealed weapon permit. This is outlined in SC Code 16-23-20.

Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law

South Carolina has a Castle Doctrine law, also known as a Stand Your Ground law. This law allows individuals to use force, including deadly force, to protect themselves against an intruder in their home, vehicle, or place of business. You can read more about this law in SC Code 16-11-440.

Local Restrictions and Preemption

South Carolina law preempts any local restrictions on firearms. This means that no county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the state can enact or enforce any regulation that attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or firearm components. This is clearly stated in SC Code 23-31-510 and SC Code 23-31-520.

NFA Weapons and Private Sales

South Carolina does not restrict NFA (National Firearms Act) weapons. This means that weapons such as machine guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns can be legally owned as long as they comply with federal laws. Furthermore, the state does not require background checks for private gun sales.

Duty to Inform

While there is no duty to inform law for long guns, handgun owners in South Carolina do have a duty to inform law enforcement officers of their firearm when stopped. This is outlined in SC Code 23-31-215.

Understanding and following these laws is an essential part of being a responsible gun owner. Always remember to handle firearms safely and responsibly, and to respect the rights and safety of others.