While our online training program may not allow you to apply for South Carolina permit/license to carry, residents of South Carolina can utilize our online training program to apply for a Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License to ADD to the number of states they can carry in than with South Carolina’s permit alone.
While South Carolina does issue resident and non-resident carry permit/licenses, many non-residents will be unable to acquire a South Carolina carry permit/license. South Carolina does NOT recognized the Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License as a legal way to conealed carry in their state.
However, by getting the State of Virginia’s Non Resident Carry Permit/License, you can INCREASE the number of states you CAN carry in.
South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit
Does This Course Qualify Me To Obtain A Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License?
Yes. You will NOT be applying for your permit in the state you reside. This is for you to obtain a Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License which is accepted in many states as a valid concealed carry permit, but NOT in South Carolina. This is good for recoprocity to other states only for South Carolina residents and non-residents.
How Long Is The Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License Good For?
Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License are valid for 5 years. We suggest you apply at least 90 days before the expiration of your permit to be sure you have plenty of time to submit it to the Virginia State Police to be renewed to allow enough time for you to get your new permit before the old one expires.
How to apply for your Virginia Non-Resident Permit:
To apply for your VA non-resident Permit visit: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_NonresidentConcealed.shtm
You can also go to www.vsp.state.va.us and on the left side of the page click the link for “firearms/concealed handguns” and then click on “Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permits” link.This will bring you to a page that details the application process. You can begin the application process immediately by downloading their checklist of all the documents that need to be prepared to make your application.This webpage will give you everything you need to apply.
To obtain your Virginia Non Resident Carry Permit/License, you will need to submit an additional $100 made payable to the Virginia Police.
This class/training is only valid for one year before you apply for your permit. If you do not apply within one year, your training will not be valid and you will have to retake training per state law.
*Laws and outlines are updated to the best of our ability.
South Carolina Conceal Carry Laws Updated As Of 2016*
Summary of SC Laws
Online Application for Renewal
South Carolina Statutes
South Carolina Administrative Rules
South Carolina Attorney General
Reciprocity Guidelines for South Carolina
South Carolina is a Shall Issue state that recognizes permits/licenses issued by the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Only Enhanced permits from Idaho are honored by South Carolina. Non-resident permits are not accepted.
Section 23-31-215. Issuance of Permits
The state shall honor the carry permits issued by the reciprocal states, provided that the applicant had undergone a criminal background check and a training course in firearms safety. Non-residents who are issued carry permits by reciprocal states shall adhere to the laws of South Carolina when carrying their firearms within the state.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division should have an updated list of all the states with which South Carolina has a reciprocity agreement.
Applying for a Permit in South Carolina
62.22. Suspension of a carry permit should not be done by the state if the permit holder has submitted an application for renewal or replacement but the issuance is delayed because of the administration. The carry permit should remain valid until the replacement or renewal has been issued provided that the submission of the application is done before the expiration of the old permit.
To know more about the current changes regarding the concealed carry permit laws, click this link.
Initial and Renewal Application
You can download the application form from the website of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. For now, renewal applicants may submit their application online, while the new applicants may soon be able to apply online as well.
To know more about the regulations regarding the processing of the concealed carry permit application, visit the SLED’s website at www.sled.sc.gov.
• The permit shall be issued to the applicant within 90 days of processing. A renewal applicant will receive the new permit 90 to 120 days before the current permit expires.
• A processing fee which costs $50.00 shall be paid to SLED by certified check, money order or cashier’s check. This payment cannot be refunded.
• A photocopy of the Driver’s License issued by South Carolina or a photo identification card should be included.
• Resident aliens should submit a photocopy of their alien cards issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
• Non-residents who are qualified to apply for a permit shall submit the Real Property Tax Form (SLED Form R-168).
The following are applicable for new applicants only:
• A completed application form with the date and applicant’s signature should be submitted. The concealed carry instructor should also sign on the form.
• Submit two complete and clear sets of fingerprint cards.
• Members of the military force who are on their active duties must submit military orders, while retired members should submit DD214.
• Retired police officers who are exempted from the processing fee should submit a retirement proof.
• Police officers, either active or retired, who are exempted from completing the training must submit a document that proves current firearm training or skills.
• Disabled veterans who are exempted from the processing fee shall include a document from the VA that indicates disability percentage.
• Training courses should be completed by the applicants within three years before submitting the application.
• The application must include the training date, the certification number of the firearm instructor and the student number.
Carry permits that are issued after February 11, 2014 are valid up to 5 years.
Please send all of the documents to:
SLED Data Center,
P.O. Box 21398,
Columbia, S.C. 29221-1398)
Note: New application takes 90 days to process, while renewal application takes up to 30 days.
Section 23-31-210. “Proof of training” refers to the original copy or photocopy submitted by an applicant proving that:
a. The training was completed three years before filing the application from the state, county or municipal law enforcement agency. The training must include the following:
• The laws of the state regarding firearms and other deadly force
• Safety and use of firearms
• Proper storage of firearms to prevent accidental injuries
• Actual discharging of firearms while being supervised by the instructor
b. The applicant demonstrates any of the following:
• Completion of a military training from the United States military branch by submission of DD214
• Graduate of the Criminal Justice Academy or federal or state academy where a firearm training is required for graduation for retired law enforcement officers
c. The applicant was trained by a National Rifle Association approved instructor
d. The applicant can demonstrate proficiency with the state laws concerning firearms and the use of firearms
e. The applicant is an active firearm instructor
f. The applicant is a member of the military force or the National Guard
Applying for a Non-Resident Permit
Individuals who have property in South Carolina may apply for non-resident permits. They should complete the non-resident form and obtain the signature of assessor to prove that you own a property within the state. Then proceed to the steps enumerate on “Applying for a Permit in South Carolina” section above.
You may also apply if you are an active member of the military stationed in South Carolina. The process will be the same as the residents.
Carry Permit Limitations
Section 23-31-215 (M). The following are considered off limits individuals even with a carry permit:
a. Correctional and detention facilities
b. Courthouses and courtrooms
c. Voting places during election days
d. Establishments used by the county, public school district, municipality or special purpose district officials for meeting
e. Places for athletic events not related to firearms
f. Day care and pre-school facilities
g. Places where possession of handguns is prohibited by the federal law
h. Church or places of worship
i. Hospital, clinic, or other establishments providing medical services unless the owner of the property authorizes
j. Places posted with “No Handgun” signs pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235 unless the property owner authorizes. (Violation of this item shall be considered a violation of the Section 16-11-620 only.)
Individuals who violate this section are considered guilty of misdemeanor and are punishable by a fine of not less than $1000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both and a revocation of the permit for 5 years.
“Concealable weapon” refers to a firearm with a length of not more than 12 inches that is carried in a manner that is not visible from ordinary observation and is worn for self-defense or protection of others.
Possession of firearms in public or private school, college, university, technical college, post-secondary institution or a building that is publicly owned without the authorization of the owner or the person in-charge of the property is
considered illegal. This section does not apply to an individual who is authorized to possess a concealed firearm pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 if the firearm remains inside the locked vehicle or secured compartment, console or trunk.
Section 23-31-225. Carrying Concealed Weapons Into Residences or Dwellings.
No individual who has been issued a carry permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 shall be allowed to carry a firearm in another person’s residence or dwelling without the permission. Violation of this section is considered as a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 or imprisonment of not more than 1 year, or both and a revocation of the permit for 5 years.
Section 58-23-1820. Definitions.
Under this section, the following terms are defined:
• “Passenger” refers to an individual in a public vehicle including charter bus.
• “Bus” refers to a public transportation that can hold more than 10 passengers.
• “Public transportation” has the same definition as in Section 58-25-20 (10).
• “Public transportation provider” refers to the operator delivering public transportation.
• “Public transportation vehicle” refers to any equipment used in providing public transportation.
Section 58-23-1830. General Prohibitions; Persons Who May Be Refused Transportation;
Violations and Penalties.
It is illegal for a passenger to do any of the following while boarding a bus or other public transportation vehicle:
a. Carry a firearm, explosive and other dangerous materials and live animals except for a hearing ear dog or seeing eye dog with its owner or weapons and animals used by a police officer.
Violation of this section is considered as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $200.00 or not more than 30 days of imprisonment, or both, for the first offense, a fine not exceeding $500.00 or not more than 60 days of imprisonment, or both, for the second offense, or a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 or not more 90 days of imprisonment, or both, for the third and subsequent offense.
Gun Sign Requirements and Limitations
“No Firearm” signs in South Carolina have the force of the law.
Section 23-31-235. Sign Requirements.
Signs prohibiting the possession of firearms shall have both the written language and universal sign language to express the prohibition. They must be posted at the public entrance of establishments that do not permit concealed carrying. The signs must be:
a. Easily seen from outside the establishment
b. Eight inches wide and twelve inches tall
c. Printed with the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” with one inch sized-font and capital letters and a black handgun silhouette inside a seven-inch diameter circle that has a diagonal line from the lower left to the upper right at approximately 45 degree angle
d. Posted 40 to 60 inches above the ground of the building’s entrance door.
If there is no entrance door in the building, the signs must be:
a. 36 inches wide and 48 inches tall
b. Printed with the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” with one inch sized-font and capital letters and a black handgun silhouette inside a seven-inch diameter circle that has a diagonal line from the lower left to the upper right at approximately 45 degree angle
c. Posted 40 to 96 inches above the ground of the building’s entrance door.
Note: Nationalcarryacademy.com recommends you to produce “No Firearm = No Money” cards and hand them to the property owner for an establishment that prohibits possession of firearms.
Police Contact Carry Inform Requirements
Individuals who are carrying firearms shall inform police officer on contact about it.
Section 23-31-215. Issuance of Permits.
Permit holders should always have their carry permits whenever carrying concealed firearms. Whenever in possession of a firearm pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 31 of Title 23, an individual must immediately inform a police officer about his carry permit and display the identification card when requested to do so. Loss of carry permits must be reported immediately to the SLED headquarters. Violation of this section is considered as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of $25.00.
Carry Restrictions for State, National and other Public Lands
Carrying of firearms in state parks, national forests, state WMA’s and road side rest areas is allowed in South Carolina.
Traveling in a Vehicle with a Firearm without a South Carolina Permit
Individuals who are legally allowed to possess firearms may carry them loaded in vehicles as long as they are kept in the vehicle’s trunk, in a glove box or console.
Section 16-23-10. Definitions.
Under this section, the following terms are defined:
• “Handgun” refers to a firearm that is capable of expelling a projectile and can be discharged using one hand. This does not include firearms that are considered antique or collector’s item.
• “Luggage compartment” refers to the trunk of the vehicle. For a vehicle without a trunk, this refers to the area of the vehicle that can hold the luggage. For a station wagon, van, truck, sports utility vehicle and hatchback vehicle, the luggage compartment is the area at the back of the rearmost seat.
Section 16-23-20. Unlawful Carrying of Handgun; Exceptions.
Carrying of a concealed or unconcealed weapon in one’s person is unlawful except for the following:
a. Law enforcement officers and reserve police officers while on their official duties
b. Private investigators while on their official duties
c. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and State Militia while on their official duties
d. Members of an organization of target shooters, antique and modern collectors of firearms during shows and exhibits
e. Authorized hunters and fishermen while on hunting and fishing
f. Individuals lawfully engaged in manufacturing, repairing, purchasing or dealing in handguns
g. An individual in his own home or place of business
h. An individual who has been authorized by a property owner
i. An individual in a vehicle with the firearm secured in a locked glove compartment, console or trunk of the vehicle.
j. An individual with a valid carry permit with the firearm placed under the seat inside the vehicle or in a closed compartment.
k. An individual transporting an unloaded firearm from the place of purchase to his dwelling or place of business and the trip should be uninterrupted.
l. Prison guard while on their official duties
m. An individual who is engaged in any activity related to firearms
n. An individual who is transferring a firearm to or from a vehicle and other places mentioned in this section
Section 23-31-230. Carrying concealed weapons between automobile and accommodation.
Individuals are allowed to carry concealed weapons from an automobile to a rented and paid accommodation.
Open Carry Laws for South Carolina
Open carrying is considered illegal in South Carolina even for those who have their valid carry permits.
Carry Law Preemptions for South Carolina
Section 23-31-510. Prohibition Against Regulation of Certain Matters.
Counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions in South Carolina are not allowed to establish regulations and ordinances to restrict the possession, transportation, ownership, purchase, sale and registration of firearms, ammunition and other related supplies.
Section 23-31-520. Power to Regulate Public Use of Firearms; Confiscation of Firearms or Ammunition.
Counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions shall have the power to regulate the discharge of firearms. Confiscation of the firearm is not permitted for the local governing bodies unless it is incident to an arrest.
South Carolina Laws for Use of Deadly Force
16-11-420 thru 16-11-450. “Protection of Persons and Property Act”.
16-11-420. Intent and Findings of General Assembly.
16-11-440. Presumption of Reasonable Fear of Imminent Peril When Using Deadly Force Against Another Unlawfully Entering Residence, Occupied Vehicle or Place of Business.
16-11-450. Immunity from Criminal Prosecution and Civil Actions; Law Enforcement Officer Exception; Costs.
These are the elements of self-defense in South Carolina:
a. Belief of an imminent danger that can cause bodily injuries or death
b. Reasonable use of a deadly weapon that an ordinary individual would have done the same if in such danger
c. No other ways of avoiding the danger of losing own life or getting rid of the bodily injuries
16-11-410 thru 450. This is also known as the “’Protection of Persons and Property Act.”
Under the section, the following terms are defined:
• “Dwelling” refers to an establishment with a roof used by individuals for lodging at night.
• “Residence” refers to a dwelling in which an individual temporarily or permanently resides or visits
• “Vehicle” refers to a conveyance used in transporting people and property.
A lawful individual who is attacked on his dwelling or place of business shall have the right to defend himself by the use of a deadly force if it is deemed reasonable to prevent loss of life or bodily injury.
Defense of Others
The Court allows “defense of others” which refers to the right of an individual to defend another person from an attacker who has the intention of taking the life of a victim with the use of a deadly weapon if it is deemed reasonable to prevent loss of life or bodily injury.
The “defense of others” is applicable to a relative, friend or bystander.
Defense of Property
The use of a deadly weapon to protect an individual’s dwelling shall be reasonable and believed to be the only means of protection.
“[t]he weight of modern authority limits deadly force in a defense of a dwelling to situations in which the householder reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony or only when deadly force would be authorized by the law of self-defense.”
State and City Laws for Carrying Knives
To know more about the laws concerning the use and possession of knives, click on this link.
Laws for Carrying Where Alcohol is Served
16-23-465. Concealed carriers shall not consume alcoholic beverages while possessing firearms on establishments.
Restaurant carrying is allowed in the state of South Carolina. “Restaurant carrying” means carrying a firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol. This may or may not mean that the carrier is allowed to sit at the bar area of the restaurant. Nationalcarryacademy.com recommends you not to sit on the bar area because in some states, this is illegal.
There are some places that use “No Gun” signs like Friday’s and Red Lobster, and if you come across such places, you should leave immediately. When carrying, an individual should not consume alcohol because a single drink can be considered illegal in some states. For further information on restaurant carrying, check the laws that apply to your state.
Electric Weapons, Defensive Sprays and High Capacity Laws
16-23-470. Possession of a tear gas that is not more than 30ml for self-defense purposes is legal in South Carolina.
South Carolina LEOSA Information
There is no information about South Carolina LEOSA available. Visit the USA Page to learn more about LEOSA.
Relevant Court Cases and Opinions of South Carolina AG
Additional Information and Airport Requirements
Carrying of firearms in airport terminals that are publicly owned is not allowed. Possession of firearms in parking lots of airports is allowed. The validity of an individual’s training is up to 3 years. An individual’s residency is established once a Driver’s License is obtained.
The minimum age required to obtain a carry permit in South Carolina is 21 years old.
Laws on State Reciprocity: Section 23-31-215.
Laws on Using Firearms: 23-31-10 thru 23-31-600 and 16-23-210 thru 16-23-520
Laws on Using Deadly Force: 16-11-410 thru 16-11-450.
Laws on Using Knives: 16-23-405 and 16-23-430
Laws on Using Chemical and Electric Weapons: 16-23-470
Laws on Using Body Armor: 16-3-1080
Section 50-11-760. Hunting from Certain Public Roads and Railroad Rights-of-Way Prohibited; Definitions; Penalties
Under this section, a “loaded firearm” means that it contains ammunition.
State of Emergency
Section 23-31-520. Power to Regulate Public Use of Firearms; Confiscation of Firearms or
This section does not affect the power of the counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions to restrict the negligent discharge of firearms. However, this does not allow counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions to confiscate firearms from a lawful individual.
Note: The federal law may be applicable if the state is receiving financial assistance from the federal government. To know more about the federal laws during state of emergencies, check the US Code 42-5207.
Age Requirements for Carrying or Moving Firearms
The minimum age requirement to carry and transport a firearm in a vehicle within South Carolina without the need for any type of permit is 18 years old.
Note: Some states are restrictive when it comes to carrying and transporting of firearms that they only allow transporting to and from the gun shops, repair shops, shooting range, carrier’s own house, business or other property. Other states do not have restriction.
To know more about carrying and transporting handguns, check the “Traveling in a Vehicle with a Firearm without a South Carolina Permit” section above.
4/12/15 – Initial page created.