The Nuts and Bolts of South Carolina's Constitutional Carry Law

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South Carolina is a constitutional carry state. I wasn't sure I'd be able to write that this year, but here we are. It's a done deal and that's a huge win for South Carolinians.


But while we lump all such laws together under the mantle of "constitutional carry," they're all a little different. There are things in South Carolina's law that simply weren't in other states' versions.

And it seems the experts are talking about those differences, so I figured we should probably do so as well.

A brand new law will allow adults to carry a gun without a permit, but experts are still encouraging a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) course.

This newfound freedom comes after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed the permitless carry gun bill Thursday afternoon.

As the law loosens restrictions across the state, experts in the county predict they will see an increase in gun sales.

“I believe we’re going to see an increase in sales,” said Myrtle Beach’s Palmetto State Armory store manager, Paul Airey.

The new law will allow you to carry a handgun without a permit or required training.

While the law gives more freedom to legal gun owners, it also increases penalties for people who illegally carry, such as convicted felons.

“Understand the laws, because there are potentially stricter penalties if you violate those laws and carry in places you shouldn’t carry,” said Airey.


I don't like the idea of still penalizing guns as if they're the problem instead of the people, but looking at these stricter penalties from a political standpoint, this is smart. It helps prevent what we saw here in Georgia when anti-gunners referred to constitutional carry as "criminal carry."

Yes, the name was stupid and didn't apply, but because this measure specifically addresses criminals who carry and penalizes them more severely, it's kind of hard to claim this is beneficial to criminals.

The experts also note that while you don't have to take a training class to carry a firearm anymore, they recommend people still take the class just so they know what they're doing. That's not terrible advice, though I suspect there are better courses to be had, so I'd make it more of a blanket suggestion to get training, but OK.

They do note, however, that folks from out of state shouldn't just expect to roll into town expecting to carry without a permit. They say that if you don't have a permit from a state with reciprocity with South Carolina, don't carry your firearm. [Tom's Note: This seems to be inaccurate. Anyone can carry without a permit. I don't know why they claim otherwise, but after a good read of the bill, I can't find anywhere that the measure claims it only applies to South Carolinians and those with permits from states with reciprocity.]


For South Carolinians, though, this is just unmitigated good news. You're now a constitutional carry state, which means that while permits are good to have, they're not required. They shouldn't be. The right to keep and bear arms is the right to bear arms.

That means people should be free to carry a firearm without asking for permission from the government. In South Carolina, as well as 29 other states, you can now do that. My hope is that somehow, we can make it all 50 states and restore the right to keep and bear arms to precisely where it was when our Founding Fathers created this great nation.

I'm not likely to see it, but this was a step in that direction.

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