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Who issues South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permits?

South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permits are issued by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). You can visit their Concealed Weapons Permit Program website here.

As of January 14, 2015, all renewals can be made online and soon new applicants will be able to apply online.

Are background checks required for a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit?

Yes, background checks are required when applying for an South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit.

Does having a South Carolina CWP exempt you from the background check when purchasing a firearm South Carolina?

Yes. Having a South Carolina Handgun License does exempt you from a National Instant Criminal System (NICS) check when purchasing a firearm.

How long is a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit valid for?

South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permits are valid for 5 years if issued after February 11, 2014.

What is the processing time for a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit?

The processing time for new South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permits is up to 90 days from the date they receive your application. For renewals, the processing time is up to 30 days.

How much does a South Carolina Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit cost?

The fee for a five year license (new or renewal ) is a $50 which can be a certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to SLED.

What are the requirements for a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit?

The following are requirements to obtain a South Carolina Handgun License:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Complete an application signed by the applicant
  • Submit a photocopy of your driver’s license or photographic identification card
    • Photographic identification card must be issued by the state in which the applicant resides or by the Department of Revenue, a federal or state law enforcement agency, an agency of the United States Department of defense, or the United States Department of State.
  • Submit proof of residence if you are a Resident of South Carolina
    • You are considered a resident if you are present in South Carolina with the intention of making a permanent home in South Carolina or military personnel on permanent change of station orders.
  • Submit proof of ownership of real property in South Carolina if you are not a resident of South Carolina.  You must fill out this form and have the Assessor sign it.
  • Submit proof of actual or corrected vision rated at 20/40 within six (6) months of the date of application. (Not needed if you have a valid driver’s license.)
  • Submit proof of training
    • Original or certified copy of training certificate
      • Must be within three (3) years before filing an application
      • Shows that you successfully completed a basic or advanced handgun education course offered by a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or a nationally recognized organization that promotes gun safety
        • Must included information on the statutory and case law of South Carolina relating to handguns and to the use of deadly force
        • Must include information on handgun use and safety
        • Must include information on the proper storage practice for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that reduces the possibility of accidental injury to a child
        • Must involve the actual firing of the handgun in the presence of the instructor
    • Any military that can demonstrate the completion of basic military training provided by any branch of the United States military by submitting their DD214 form
    • Any retired law enforcement officer who produces proof that he is a graduate of the Criminal Justice Academy or that he was a law enforcement officer prior to the requirement for graduation from the Criminal Justice Academy
    • Any instructor certified by the National Rifle Association or another SLED-approved competent national organization that promotes the safe use of handguns
    • Any person who can demonstrate to the Director of SLED or his designee that he has a proficiency in both the use of handguns and state laws pertaining to handguns
    • Any active duty police handgun instructor
    • Any person who has a SLED-certified or approved competitive handgun shooting classification
    • Any member of the active or reserve military, or a member of the National Guard
  • Payment of the $50 application fee. This fee is waived for disabled veterans and retired law enforcement officers
  • Submit a complete set of fingerprints
    • Unless because of a medical condition verified in writing by a licensed medical doctor, a complete set of fingerprints is impossible to submit. In lieu of the submission of fingerprints, the applicant must submit the written statement from a licensed medical doctor specifying the reason or reasons why the applicant’s fingerprints may not be taken. If all other qualifications are met, the Chief of SLED may waive the fingerprint requirements of this item. The statement of medical limitation must be attached to the copy of the application retained by SLED. A law enforcement agency may charge a fee not to exceed five dollars for fingerprinting an applicant
Can I transfer another state’s concealed carry permit or license to South Carolina?

South Carolina does not allow you to transfer another state’s concealed carry permit or license to South Carolina. You must apply for a new South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit.

Does South Carolina accept any other state's concealed carry permits or licenses?

Yes, South Carolina has reciprocity with and accepts resident permits of the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Idaho (Enhanced Only)
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming.
What are the laws for carrying a firearm in an automobile in South Carolina?

You may carry concealed in a vehicle with an South Carolina Handgun License or a recognized state’s permit or license. Without a recognized license or permit, loaded handguns may be carried in a closed glove compartment. Rifles and shotguns may be loaded while in the trunk or passenger area unless you are in a state park, recreational area or wildlife area during hunting season. In this case, all long guns must be unloaded and secured in cases even if you have a permit.

What places are off-limits when carrying a concealed weapon in South Carolina?

The following is a list of places that are off-limits when carrying a concealed weapon in South Carolina:

  1. Law enforcement office or facility
  2. Detention or correctional facility
  3. Courthouse or courtroom
  4. Polling place on election days
  5. Office of or the business meeting the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special purpose district
  6. School or college athletic event not related to firearms
  7. Daycare or preschool facility
  8. Place where federal law prohibits the carrying of firearms
  9. Church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body
  10. Medical services facilities unless expressly authorized by the employer.
  11. Place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235. Except that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, by express written consent, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter onto property regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. A person who violates a provision of this item, whether the violation is wilful or not, may only be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620 and must not be charged with or penalized for a violation of this subsection.

Except as provided for in item (11), a person who wilfully violates a provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.