State Laws

South Carolina Gun Laws


South Carolina Gun Laws
Like many other states South Carolina is considered a "shall issue" state in regards to concealed weapons permits. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns do not require permits to be first obtained before purchases are made.

A Castle Doctrine has also been stipulated in the state of South Carolina to allow individuals to have firearms in their homes, motor vehicles, or places of business for legalized protection. This doctrine allows deadly force to be used on any intruder to personal property. Castle Doctrine is also named as homicide by self-defense or justifiable homicide. This kind of self-defense is only to be used under necessary precautions.

Firearms are not allowed to be carried onto public school property or any kind of private property without previous permission. South Carolina does not allow open carry; however, loaded handguns are permitted to be carried in vehicle glove compartments or center consoles.

South Carolina has this kind of reciprocity with other states. Beginning in 2008 these include Wyoming, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.

South Carolina also has a philosophy called "Stand Your Ground" through the Protection of Person and Property Act. This act states that individuals may use deadly force to defend themselves if they feel they are being threatened and are attacked. "Stand Your Ground" only applies if an intruder enters another's place of business, place of dwelling, personal property, or any other place where others have rights to be. If the use of a deadly force is not necessary, then the philosophy cannot be upheld.

The "Make My Day" law accompanies the "Stand Your Ground" philosophy and allows an individual to defend another by using a deadly force if the other person cannot him or herself. South Carolina law states that if a violent crime can be prevented, it should.

Types of Firearms
Rifles, shotguns, and handguns are not required to be registered under South Carolina law nor are owners required to be licensed to have rifles, shotguns, or handguns. No permit is necessary to carry a shotgun or a rifle, but a permit is necessary to carry any kind of handgun.

Shotguns and rifles can be purchased from contiguous states if all federal requirements are met beforehand. The sellers of these states must have federal firearms licenses before any purchase can be made.

Certain individuals are not allowed to possess firearms because of the danger they present. These people include any individual with a previous violent crime conviction; any individual with an addiction to drugs or alcoholics; any individual who is mental incompetent; any individual under the age of twenty-one; and any individual who the county court has deemed unfit to possess a firearm.

Those under the age of twenty-one may temporarily possess a firearm if under the supervision of a guardian or instructor. Individuals who have been evaluated by any mental institution and have had adjudication as mentally ill are seen by South Carolina to be unfit to possess firearms.

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