What is the Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) law in South Carolina?

SC allows residents and non-residents who are at least 21 years old to carry concealed handguns only when they have a permit. The state law requires a CCW permit even if you already have a permit from another state that would typically allow you to carry your firearm concealed.

The Subtitle 1 of Title 23 covers the entire SC gun laws, including carrying a concealed weapon. The state identifies a concealed weapon as any gun, knife with a blade longer than two inches, metal knuckles, blackjack, or other weapons that can be used to inflict bodily harm and are concealed from view.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) issues the concealed carry permit, which can take up to 90 days to process and be delivered. The permit holder must have the license with them when carrying a concealed weapon.

What are the provisions of the concealed gun law regarding cars in SC?

Under SC gun laws, permit holders may carry a concealed weapon in their cars without storing it in a glove compartment, closed console, or other type of container, as long as the weapon is possessed legally.

It means that if you possess a legal permit and you’re in a car, you can carry your firearm concealed, even without keeping it in a closed container. In contrast, if you don’t have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, transporting a gun in your car in SC is illegal.

Any person who transports a handgun in a vehicle that is under their operating control can be charged with illegal carrying if they don’t have a permit to carry the firearm concealed.

What are the legal requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit in SC?

The legal age for applying for a concealed carry permit in SC is 21 years. Besides, the law stipulates that the applicant must meet several requirements, including:

  • Proof that they have taken a firearms training course approved by the state.
  • Must be a resident of SC or own property in the state.
  • No prior criminal record for violent crimes, domestic violence, or firearm crimes, among others.
  • Does not have a history of severe mental health issues or addiction to controlled substances.

The permit also requires that the license holder notifies law enforcement that they’re carrying a weapon if confronted or approached. The police may request to inspect the permit at any time to confirm the legality of the carrier’s weapon.

What are the penalties for violating SC’s concealed carry laws?

Violating the CCW laws in SC comes with severe penalties. It may attract misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances of the gun offense and the perpetrator’s record.

For illegally carrying a weapon, the offender may face a maximum fine of $2,000, serve up to three years in jail, or both. Moreover, the offender may lose their rights to own or purchase a firearm in the future.

On the other hand, using a firearm to commit a crime or harming another person intentionally or accidentally may lead to a more severe charge. Such a crime could be classified as a felony and lead to more extended sentences or lifetime penalties.

What should you do if stopped by the police when carrying a concealed weapon in your car?

Whenever stopped by the police, a concealed carry permit holder should follow specific procedures to protect their rights. The first step is to ensure that the officer knows that you’re carrying a weapon and have a permit to do so.

You should only reach for your car documentation when the police officer asks you to do so. Moreover, it’s recommended to remain polite and comply with the officer’s requests.

If the officer asks you to get out of the car, always make sure that the weapon is away from you as you do so. You should also avoid engaging in a debate with the officer regarding the legality of the weapon instead of waiting to present your permit when asked.


In summary, the CCW law in SC requires a license to carry a concealed weapon in your car. Permit holders can carry their firearm without keeping it in a closed container but must possess the CCW license and notify law enforcement when confronted.

Breaking the concealed carry law in SC comes with severe penalties, including serving jail-time and losing firearms privileges. Therefore, it’s necessary to be conversant with the state’s gun laws and follow proper protocol when approached by police officers when carrying your weapon.


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