South Carolina Concealed Carry Laws
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Are concealed carry permits available in the state of South Carolina?
South Carolina operates as a Shall Issue state, granting concealed carry permits to qualifying residents. However, South Carolina will not honor CCW permits or licenses from non-residents; you have to be a resident of the state in order for your concealed carry permit to be valid in South Carolina.
In South Carolina, there is no concealed carry permit necessary to purchase rifles, shotguns, and handguns; upon purchase, firearms are not officially registered through the state. You do not need to possess a license to own a weapon or to carry a rifle or shotgun, but you do need to possess a valid conceal and carry permit in order to carry a concealed handgun.
South Carolina residents are protected by the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. South Carolina authorities are required by law to grant concealed carry permits to applicants who qualify since it is a Shall Issue state.
South Carolina is unique in that there is a vision requirement in order for an applicant to be granted a concealed carry permit, unlike the majority of other states. An applicant must be able to provide proof of 20/40 vision, naturally or corrected.
Where can I get a South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit?
A South Carolina CCW permit will be granted through the State Law Enforcement Division. The State Law Enforcement Division will also issue concealed carry permits to any nonresidents who own property in South Carolina, as well as military personnel who have permanent change of station orders.
Bear in mind that in order for a South Carolina concealed carry permit to be granted, an NCIS background check is necessary.
How do I apply for a license?
In order to apply for a CCW permit in South Carolina, you must download and print the application from the link below:
For both new and renewal conceal carry permits, the following steps must be completed:
- Forms must be downloaded from the official website and completed.
- Application processing time could be up to 90 days. A renewal application needs to be mailed in 90 to 120 days before the expiration date.
- A completed application must be submitted with the correct date and signature.
- A certified check, money order, or cashier’s check for a nonrefundable fee of $50 must be paid to SLED.
- A copy of a valid driver’s license or identification card must be submitted.
- A resident alien must also provide a copy of their alien card issued from the Department of Homeland Security. Documentation to prove South Carolina residency for the past 90 days must also be submitted.
For new conceal carry permits only, the following steps must also be completed:
- Two legible, complete sets of fingerprint cards must be submitted.
- A military applicant must submit military orders and identification if they do not possess a South Carolina driver’s license.
- A law enforcement officer must submit the necessary documentation to waive the license fee. A disabled veteran must submit VA documentation to waive the license fee.
- The necessary handgun education courses must have been completed successfully within three years prior to filing the application. The instructor certification number and training date must be entered on the application. If you are exempt from the handgun education course, you must enter “Exempt” regarding training information on the application.
Note: An applicant should keep evidence of their training documentation or exemption, which may be required to be submitted upon request to SLED for audit.
All of the information listed above for a new or renewal application can be mailed directly to:
SLED Data Center,
P.O. Box 21398,
Columbia, S.C. 29221-1398
It will take up to 90 days to process a new application; it will take up to 30 days to process a renewal application. After an application has been approved or renewed, it is valid for four years.
How much does the license cost?
A CCW license in South Carolina costs a nonrefundable fee of $50. A renewal license will also cost a nonrefundable fee of $50.
Am I eligible for a Concealed Carry Permit in the state of South Carolina?
In order to be eligible for a conceal carry permit in South Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 21 years of age or older.
- You must not be legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
- You must be a resident of South Carolina, a nonresident owning property in South Carolina, or military personnel with permanent change of station orders.
To be eligible for a CCW permit, you must submit the following required documents with your application:
- Proof of residence
- Proof of 20/40 vision, natural or corrected
- Proof of required handgun safety training
- One recent, full-face color photograph
- Valid fingerprints
Where can I carry a concealed weapon after receiving a license?
If you hold a valid conceal and carry permit, you must inform a South Carolina law enforcement officer that you hold a CCW permit and present the permit card upon request.
When carrying a weapon in an automobile, a handgun must be secured in a closed trunk, console, or glove compartment; a handgun may remain loaded during transport.
It is prohibited to carry concealed in the following locations:
- Law enforcement facility
- Correctional facility
- Polling center on election day
- Offices of a governing body
- School/college athletic event
- Any location where it is prohibited by federal law to carry firearms
- Medical facility
- Place of worship without authorized permission
- Prohibited private property
It is against the law to discharge a firearm under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. It is also prohibited to carry a firearm on the premises of any business that sells alcoholic beverages for public consumption.
In South Carolina, is a Castle Doctrine state, where an individual is protected in their private residence or place of business with the stand-your-ground law. Open Carry is prohibited in almost all public locations.
- South Carolina Handgun Laws
- NRA Gun Laws: South Carolina
- South Carolina Concealed Carry License Application
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