South Carolina Governor Signs Bill that Allows Law-Abiding Residents to Carry Concealed Handguns Without a Permit

South Carolina is now a “constitutional carry” state. Law-aiding residents 18 and older no longer need the government’s permission to carry their handguns concealed or open.

The state allowed law-abiding residents to open carry with a permit in 2021. Now those permits are obsolete.

South Carolina doesn’t require a license to buy a gun.

The legislature had the bill ready for Governor Henry McMaster to sign weeks ago, but lawmakers had to hash things out. From South Carolina Public Radio:

Not every legislator is supportive of the new law.

The amended legislation, negotiated by six legislators from the state House and Senate this week, passed the lower chamber Tuesday mainly along party lines by an 86-33 vote.

The new law has a number of stipulations. The legislature tightened up penalties for residents carrying guns into places where guns are not allowed, like schools and courthouses. Residents may carry guns inside businesses or homes only with the owner’s permission.

Before this law, gun owners had to keep their handguns in the glove compartment of their cars. Now there are no restrictions. But owners should let police officers know they’re armed if stopped for a traffic violation.

Naturally, law enforcement and residents themselves are concerned about safety. Tre’Von Barber, a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)-approved gun safety instructor, supports expanded gun rights but said “there needs to be an educational component when it comes to gun safety and protection.”

Gun safety classes still exist. In fact, SLED will begin offering free gun safety (PDF) classes, and all gun owners are encouraged to take them.

“With my signature, South Carolina is now the 29th state in the country with constitutional carry,” Gov. McMaster wrote on X. “This bill expands the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens and will keep violent criminals behind bars with increased penalties for illegal gun use and possession.”

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  1. All firearms dealers are require by federal law to conduct a background check for gun sale – this is Nationwide

  2. Merdies R. Hayes

    South Carolina will have to abide by the “honor system.” Impossible to tell who and who is not “law abiding.”