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  • Writer's pictureErin Bailey

BREAKING | South Carolina Is Now A “Constitutional Carry” State - What Does That Mean?

Updated: Mar 18

South Carolina Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2024

On March 7, 2024, South Carolina enacted a new gun law that is effective immediately. This new law is sweeping, but here are the essentials for what you need to know.

South Carolina is now a “Constitutional Carry” State. What does that mean?

  • Anyone over the age of 18 may carry a handgun open or concealed without a permit unless otherwise prohibited by law.

  • While a Concealable Weapons Permit is still obtainable, it is not required to carry a handgun openly or concealed.

  • Guns can be carried anywhere in a vehicle openly or concealed without a permit.

  • There are a few limitations on where people can carry openly or concealed:

    • Law enforcement, correctional, or detention facility

    • Courthouse or courtroom, or any place being used as a courthouse or courtroom

    • Polling places on election day

    • Office of or business meeting of the governing body of public school, municipality, or special purpose district

    • School or college athletic event not related to firearms

    • Daycare facility or preschool facility

    • Place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law

    • Church or religious sanctuary unless given express permission by church official or governing body

    • Hospital, medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed, unless expressly authorized

    • Residence or dwelling place of another person without express permission

  • Place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carry of a concealable weapon on the premises in compliance with Section 23-31-235

  • Bars and restaurants are not included in the list of places where people cannot carry open or concealed, but no one may carry open or concealed while consuming alcohol.

Who is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon under the new law?

Anyone convicted of a crime punishable by more than 1 year in prison EXCEPT:

  • Someone convicted of any offense in this State or another jurisdiction pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restrains of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices

  • Someone convicted of any offense classified by the laws of this State or another jurisdiction as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of five years or less

  • Someone who has had their disqualifying convictions expunged, set aside, or pardoned

What about Concealable Weapons Permits (CWP)?

While a Concealable Weapons Permit is no longer required to carry a handgun openly or concealed, some people may still want to obtain one.

Having a CWP will give you reciprocity in some other states, will protect you from being charged with a new crime of committing a crime while carrying a concealed permit, and will speed up any purchase of firearms from a federally licensed dealer.

SLED is mandated to provide FREE Concealable Weapons Permit classes twice per month in each county in the state. Those free classes will begin in the next fiscal year of 2024/2025. They have not yet been funded or announced.

What about Unlawful Carry convictions?

Unlawful Carry convictions under the OLD LAW are now expungable. You can get one of these charges expunged, but you have to do it within 5 years from March 7, 2024.


If you have questions regarding this new law and what it may mean for a past unlawful carry of a weapon conviction, get in touch with the criminal defense lawyers at Erin Bailey Law today.

This post is offered for general information only and is not legal advice. Our lawyers must make a case-by-case assessment of any claims. Results may vary depending on the facts involving any case.

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