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Open Carry Now In SC, Important Restrictions You Need to Know

Yesterday South Carolina’s Open Carry law went into effect. First, however, you need to know some essential restrictions in the law before heading out with your handgun.

Governor Henry McMaster signed Bill 3094 into law back on May 17th. Dubbed “Open Carry With Training Act,” the law brings open carry to South Carolina, but with certain restrictions.

open carry south carolina

Open Carry Law Restrictions:

Open carry is only legal for residents with a valid South Carolina concealed carry license. If you don’t already have a license, you can’t legally carry your everyday carry (EDC) gun openly.

Additionally, the law does not take away private or public business owners’ right to prohibit firearms on their property. The establishment must post signs indicating they do not allow firearms on their property.

One good thing about the law is the permit is now FREE!

How do you feel about the change to the law? Did it go far enough, or does requiring a concealed carry license to open carry essentially nullify the benefit?

Gun laws are continually changing, and the repercussions of not knowing can be severe. Consider our Legal Boundaries by State Book. The book is available in hard copy as well as a digital version. The digital version comes with every physical book purchase and is continually updated any time a law is changed.

legal boundaries by state book

The Legal Boundaries by State Book is not just a reciprocity list. Inside are gun laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and federal gun law and laws related to air travel with firearms. It is by far the most comprehensive gun law resource available.

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54 Responses to Open Carry Now In SC, Important Restrictions You Need to Know

  1. Ricky August 17, 2021 at 12:14 am #

    I think it strikes a good balance. The License is now free as opposed to a fee before new law. I have no issue with taking a training class and pass a background check. Both help to ensure some safety. I would not understand why a law abiding citizen would feel this is not a good idea.

    • scottish1 October 15, 2021 at 12:27 am #

      the reason it’s not a good idea is if you are in some place and you have no idea it’s going to get robbed and you are standing there with your gun open carry guess who is getting shot first YOU!

      • D December 5, 2021 at 8:04 pm #

        But you don’t have to open carry, you can still conceal it

        • Tracy April 30, 2022 at 4:59 pm #

          I live in NC and going to stay I’m SC for a few weeks how do I apply for a SC gun permitte

      • Scott January 1, 2022 at 2:24 pm #

        I caught bowl on that I have both I opened carrying more than a concealed

        • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:29 pm #

          caught and bowled, an expression from the game of cricket. if you’re going to use an expression then get it right or you end up looking like an idiot.

      • Cary S March 8, 2022 at 3:57 pm #

        Your life could be the one that is saved if you happen to be in that store at the same time. People who carry tend to be more aware of their surroundings. We dont carry to impress, we carry to protect.

        • STEVEN R PETTY June 14, 2022 at 10:42 am #

          DAMN STRAIGHT BROTHER

      • TT April 14, 2022 at 8:50 pm #

        You’re assuming the robber even intends to use the fire-arm.
        Most criminals are more intimidated by someone with a firearm, because they’re not likely to even be comfortable with the firearm they choose to commit a crime with.

        Also, most criminals would not want to get a murder charge.
        If someone is drugged out, and just stole a fire-arm, they’re likely to not even notice the other customers to begin with.

        You guys see the video recently of the guy going to rob the worker at a car lot? Walks in, other guy had his suspicion, grabbed his firearm, and the robber smiled as if it was a joke and ran out and away?

      • Jesse Sexton June 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm #

        Guess who can shoot back and most criminals don’t like to rob a place that is likely to have someone with a weapon. That is why they usually rob places that don’t allow weapons.

    • GEORGE December 22, 2021 at 1:20 am #

      This is not a good idea because it opens you up to unwarranted harassment by law enforcement across the nation. Once they know you have a concealed carry permit, they can stop you on any highway in any state (and they have) just for the sake of intimidation. It got so bad during the Obama reign that even Texas congressman Louis Gohmert, who has more reason than most to carry, decided not to get his permit for fear that he’d be harassed at airports and on highways between Texas and DC. I don’t mind my local sheriff knowing that I carry, but I don’t want to be haunted by the FBI, highway patrol, or law enforcement of any other jurisdiction. The federal background check system has been abused for decades. When I was a kid in the 60’s I could buy firearms and ammunition with no restrictions. I want my full 2nd amendment rights back. Anything less is unconstitutional.

      • Leo February 16, 2022 at 2:48 pm #

        If you can pass a background check to buy weapons then you shouldn’t need any permit to carry them however you want. Licensing equals permission when it’s a God-given right.

        Pennsylvania sucks too, because it requires licensing for concealed carry, but i think you can open carry without a license. It also requires no training to get a concealed carry permit. I should have applied for mine when i lived there.

        • Leo February 16, 2022 at 2:53 pm #

          Of course, there would probably be a lot of social/police pressure not to open carry, depending on what part of PA someone was in. No doubt, most states are similar in that regard.

          Social pressure is used to take away a lot of rights.

          • Justin March 1, 2022 at 11:33 pm #

            If your a law-abiding citizen you shouldn’t have to worry about being harassed by the police. they pull you over and see nothing’s wrong over and over they’re finally going to give up on you promise you. If nothing else you have something to hide and that’s your problem

    • Robert December 22, 2021 at 12:20 pm #

      I agree with you ☺️

      • Bob February 7, 2022 at 5:36 pm #

        I’ve done a butt load of traveling, domestic and internationally, and I’ve never been treated in any way that would indicate that I was being targeted due to my concealed carry privileges.

        • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:33 pm #

          me either. People can speculate all they want on what they think will happen but I’ve never experienced any of the things these people on here are saying.

      • John March 31, 2022 at 6:40 pm #

        I have been stopped by law enforcement three times since I got my carry permit. It is a requirement that any time a law enforcement officer asks for your ID and if you have a weapon on you or in the car, you are required to show the permit and declare you have a weapon. The officers know that to have a permit, you have passed a background check and are not a threat. All three times the officer smiled, handed back my permit and driver’s license and then told me why I was stopped, said have a good day and left.

      • piotr June 6, 2022 at 12:56 pm #

        More people have been saved by someone that had a firearm., If someone is overly concerned about the police FBI and all other law enforcement harassing them for having a firearm. Then there is a much bigger problem. People forget. The second amendment is the right to protect the public from an oppressive Government. Not to protect them from us. Protecting the Government from the public is called a Dictatorship. And removal of the way that a public can fight back. Is the first step towards that.
        Don’t think it can happen here. Why do you think history is being re written for your kids? And the history of how this did happen is being left out of history.class. just a thought. But looks like we might be headed down that road of repeating what other countries learned the hard way.

    • Robert December 22, 2021 at 12:31 pm #

      I think it’s a very good idea to get all the training on how to handle the firearms, & to be familiar with how they operate and the safety of operating a firearm.so let’s all law abiding citizen work together for the good of all mankind. Thanks for Your service & in helping keep our country safe.May The Lord keep y’all safe

    • Richard March 20, 2022 at 9:49 pm #

      All should have some training

  2. Tz9x21 August 17, 2021 at 1:20 am #

    So as a non resident, I still can’t protect myself.in your state. But you’ll be happy to take my vacation money……….

    • Doug September 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm #

      Not correct. SC allows for non resident permits.

    • William Mccord September 5, 2021 at 8:23 pm #

      I can’t find anything on Reprocity with TN. I know last year I could carry in south carolina with my TN permit when I visited. I see the law has changed some since then. Can I still carry concealed or not with my TN permit?

      • Robert Warren October 8, 2021 at 7:43 pm #

        According to SLED website TN is a reciprocity state.

    • John September 27, 2021 at 9:43 pm #

      Actually, you can carry concealed provided your state has reciprocity with South Carolina. You just can’t “open carry.”

      • HLB October 21, 2021 at 2:43 am #

        According to usaconcealedcarry “South Carolina honors resident permits from states that recognize South Carolina permits, provided that the reciprocal state requires an applicant to successfully pass a criminal background check and a course in firearm training and safety”. If they recognize the out of state permit, then it is the same as a South Carolina permit, and therefore you can carry openly.

        HLB

    • D December 5, 2021 at 8:06 pm #

      That is not what they are saying they are saying residents still have to have a concealed weapons permit in order to open carry;

    • Scott December 10, 2021 at 6:36 pm #

      That is a stupid statement. If the state in which DO have a valid CWP has reciprocity with SC you are safe. But you cannot OPEN carry because you are not a resident

  3. Dave August 17, 2021 at 2:37 pm #

    Personally I have my Arizona CCW and while I am glad that they enacted open carry in SC I always have pondered the “why would I open carry if I can conceal carry” question. I personally don’t want to attract any added attention to myself, but to each his/her own I guess.

    • Doug October 24, 2021 at 5:28 am #

      When I lived in Arizona, my CCW instructor told us if we rode motorcycles, open carry when riding because while most will not notice the bike (normalcy bias) they will notice the firearm – and he was right. I always open carried while riding and then concealed once I got to my destination.

    • brian May 7, 2022 at 6:58 pm #

      There are several issues open carry is more comfortable to carry especially on a daily basis (not being a slim gut that what I find) For self defense open carry allows a slightly faster draw. There have been cases where people in concealed only states had a weapon partially exposed and been arrested (like a loose shirt outside your pants. In general gun laws suck and penalties are extreme for simple violations

  4. Jim August 18, 2021 at 10:43 pm #

    I think this is great. I personally will continue to conceal carry. But now I don’t have to worry, if my shirt doesn’t totally cover my weapon.

  5. Kevin August 19, 2021 at 12:49 am #

    I’ll be heading to SC soon for several months and was planning on picking up their CCW permit anyways. Won’t be open carrying though.

  6. Thomas August 25, 2021 at 1:43 pm #

    I like open carry i don’t have to keep checking to see if my gun is covered and if I come to a no open carry store I just pull my shirt out I don’t know why they stopped the permit fee sled is going to lose a lot of money

  7. Caroline September 5, 2021 at 6:46 am #

    Thank you Governor McMaster for signing the bill to open carry. I am a woman who sometimes travels alone and I like knowing I can protect myself. I will continue to carry concealed, but like knowing I now have the option to open carry.

  8. James w Winn September 26, 2021 at 10:31 pm #

    I live in Penna. I will be traveling to South Carolina in a week How long would it take to get a carry permit

  9. Nancy A Rlt October 13, 2021 at 11:02 pm #

    I really wish that they would pass the Constitutional Carry which is still pending in state legislature.

  10. Jesse R. October 29, 2021 at 2:43 pm #

    “,The Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    You already have a self evident, Constitutional Right to keep your arms and bear your arms.

    No infringement on Constitutional, God given rights should ever be tolerated. If you trade freedom for “security”, you’ll have and deserve neither. No gun law has ever given the public more security. They don’t decrease gun crime, they don’t decrease murders, they don’t make schools more safe. There’s no valid reason to infringe the 2nd Amendment as written. Not even a little bit.

    • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:42 pm #

      you’re quick to tout your GOD GIVEN rights but you ignore scripture that tells us to “resist not evil.” Seems a bit hypocritical. Typical though I guess, people are quick to use God to justify what they want to do but are quick to ignore him when they want to do something that HE says not to do. So carnal and typical. If you trusted God enough, you would not need a weapon or anything because “all things work together for the good for those that love God and are called according to his purposes.” So you don’t need a weapon if you trust God enough because if you get shot, thats the best thing that could happen to you. The real problem is that people are just too full of themselves. Jesus said, “if you save your life you will lose it, but if you lose it for my sake you will have life everlasting.” So why do you concern yourself so much with saving your and other’s lives. You are not helping.

  11. Wm Geer December 1, 2021 at 5:20 pm #

    Are there restrictions on where a person with a SC CWP can place their gun while in a car; or do you have to have the “open carry” permit? And, do reciprocal states have different restrictions about gun placement in automobile?

  12. Kerri December 19, 2021 at 1:10 pm #

    I recently moved to South Carolina from Wisconsin where I hold a valid CCWP I am a bit confused as to if I need to take the course over or can I just apply for the permit.

  13. Aaron February 4, 2022 at 10:59 pm #

    I don’t see the point in having a permit to carry. It only helps the government keep track of who has a gun. It doesn’t stop criminals from getting guns and using them. Criminals don’t buy guns legally, they steal them or buy off the street. GUN LAWS ONLY RESTRICT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. The Governor signed this law to appease both sides, instead of doing what’s right and protecting our rights.

  14. Chip February 11, 2022 at 11:50 pm #

    I carry.. I’ve carried illegally before myvstate had permits.. I have a permit…
    If revoked, I will still carry..
    I believe everyone who carry should get plenty of experience and training..
    Lord knows I’ve invested a bunch of time and a pile of cash into it….
    All that said, I am opposed to permits and requirements…
    We have Rights.. Rights cannot exist with conditions…
    And I believe our rights are far more important than any little bit of “safety” gained through requirements..
    Look at driving.. training, requirements, hoops we jump through.. and still, you can’t stop stupid…

  15. De’Andrè February 12, 2022 at 1:33 am #

    What if I have a Georgia conceal carry license and can open carry in Georgia. Am I exempt from this law or can I open carry in SC as well?

  16. David February 16, 2022 at 7:21 pm #

    Based upon the argument that GUN RIGHTS advocates make that you should have to qualify your ability to properly handle a fire arm or be in sound mind to own a fire arm then I have to ask when will be people start taking STUPID tests and have to pass BACKGROUND mental checks before opening their mouths to exercise their right to FREE SPEECH? As for me and my house you can have my guns when you come pull them from my dead body. Why do we need to proof test the 2nd amendment but not the 1st? Crickets of course from the left.

    • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:44 pm #

      they actually are trying to limit what you can say.

  17. Anne March 22, 2022 at 1:04 pm #

    This is BS. We should have had constitutional carry.
    Anyone with an ancestor who settled this state knows that. It’s called A2.
    The problem is these political tyrants think we’re too stupid to know how to handle a gun.
    Trust me. If you’re a South Carolinian, you know how to handle a gun.
    The government doesn’t need to know I have a gun unless I decide to show them by carrying it openly.
    This law is nothing more than a way for the state to track gun owners.

    • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:46 pm #

      I don’t trust you because you spout lies. I am a Sandlapper and I know many people who are not fit to carry a weapon. They’ve never even held a weapon. Who are you to think that all South Carolinian’s know how to handle a gun. That statement is pure hogwash.

  18. Dave Harris March 29, 2022 at 11:56 pm #

    When the Federal Government doesn’t want you to have guns, there’s a reason. There are just too many criminals in government positions. Does it make sense for lying crooked politicians to have a security team, that protects them while telling you that you aren’t smart enough to protect yourself? Always fear a government that’s terrified you’ll use a gun to uphold the law, (which may mean defending yourself against a tyrannical government). Back when we won our freedom from the British, there was a musket behind every door, today? it’s an AR-15, both are guns, both shoot bullets, only today we have a media that spreads misinformation about everything except the weather and sports, nothing has changed except the crooks that run (or ruin) the country. Back when we had real media outlets, at least back then they could spell, and were more interested in reporting the news instead of pushing leftist propaganda.

    • Al April 27, 2022 at 10:48 pm #

      paranoid, distrustful of everything government. open your eyes and see the truth. some are good, some not so much, some are bad. so typical of people like you. I’m conservative myself but I haven’t lost my brains like you have.

  19. Reg June 8, 2022 at 8:11 pm #

    I agree
    Unconditional

    • Reg June 8, 2022 at 8:12 pm #

      I said:
      I agree
      Unconstitutional

  20. PL July 2, 2022 at 7:21 pm #

    About time we even one up for the score!!! Chalk one up for the 2nd!!!!!

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