[here] for an article on expungement laws in South Carolina.
If I DON’T have a concealed weapons permit, where can I carry a handgun in my vehicle?
You may carry a handgun in a vehicle is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle. The exception is that you can’t bring the gun to a school or college of any kind.
It is a little unclear what the South Carolina legislature meant when they used the term “integral fastener,” so to be safe, we suggest that any container used to transport a handgun be something that is lockable and that snaps or latches closed. A shoebox wouldn’t qualify.
The term “luggage compartment” is tricky as well, but the law provides definitions. It means the trunk if the car has a trunk. If the car doesn’t have a trunk, it means “the area of the motor vehicle in which the manufacturer designed that luggage be carried or to the area of the motor vehicle in which luggage is customarily carried.” In a station wagon, van, hatchback vehicle, or sport utility vehicle, the term “luggage compartment” refers to the area behind, but not under, the rearmost seat. In a truck, the term luggage compartment refers to the area behind the rearmost seat, but not under the front seat.
If you’re riding a motorcycle, you must secure the handgun in a closed saddlebag or other similar closed accessory containers.
Under no circumstance can you carry the gun under the seat, in your pocket, or anywhere not specifically mentioned above.
Can I keep a handgun at my business in South Carolina?
If you are a business owner or the person in control of a business, you may carry a handgun at your business. If you are an employee, you may do so ONLY IF you have a concealed weapons permit AND you have the permission of the owner.
What if I am hunting in South Carolina?
Licensed hunters or fishermen who’re engaged in hunting or fishing or going to or from their places of hunting or fishing, while in a vehicle or on foot, may carry a handgun.
May I bring a handgun into a friend’s house?
You may carry a handgun in your home or another person’s home ONLY IF you have the permission of the owner or the person in legal possession of the property.
How do I get a handgun from one legal place to another?
The handgun must be unloaded and in a secure wrapper and you must go directly from the building to your car or from your car to the building.
Can I sell my handgun in South Carolina?
You may not sell, offer to sell, deliver, lease, rent, barter, exchange, or transport for sale into this State any handgun to people convicted of violent crimes, fugitives from justice, habitual drunkards, drug addicts, or people who have been adjudicated incompetent, a person who is a member of a subversive organization, people under the age of eighteen (with certain exceptions including members of the Armed Forces or R.O.T.C.), people who by order of a circuit judge or county court judge has been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm, and illegal aliens. Likewise, it is illegal for the above-described people to carry or possess a handgun.
Finally, if the original serial number has been removed or obliterated, you cannot buy, sell, own, or carry the handgun, and you should probably contact a criminal lawyer to decide how to dispose of it.
If you are the seller of a handgun, it is recommended that you retain a lawyer to draft a Bill of Sale so that the transfer is documented. This way, if the gun is later used in a crime, you can show that the gun legally left your possession and went to someone else.
What should I do if I find a handgun?
Call the police and turn it over to them. They will then try to determine whether the gun is stolen or if it was used in the commission of a crime, and they may be able to locate the rightful owner. They are required to publish the existence of the gun in the newspaper. If the gun is cleared and the owner does not turn up, then you may be able to keep the gun after 90 days go by if you pass an application check and pay the advertising costs, such as the cost of running the ad in the newspaper.
What are other weapons offenses in South Carolina?
There are many weapons laws in South Carolina, and if you have any specific questions, you should consult with an attorney. However, some offenses are more commonly seen than others. You can’t own or handle an automatic weapon, sawed-off rifle, or sawed-off shotgun. You can’t bring to a school any weapon, which includes a knife with over a 2-inch blade, a blackjack, a metal pipe or pole, firearms, or any other type of weapon, device, or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death. The exception is that a concealed weapons permit holder may carry the weapon inside an attended or locked motor vehicle and is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.
Also, this is hopefully obvious, but you can’t point a firearm at another person. You can’t discharge a firearm at or into a building or any structure that can be occupied by people. You can’t discharge a weapon at a car, boat, or aircraft.
City and county ordinances may regulate the careless or negligent discharge or brandishing (displaying) of firearms. Check your local laws before handling or discharging firearms.
Parting Thoughts on Handgun Laws in South Carolina
Numerous citizens own guns and use them for self-defense, target shooting, hunting, and other lawful purposes. If you’re a gun owner or thinking about purchasing a gun, you should familiarize yourself with the laws on guns so that you don’t get caught accidentally violating a law. Concealed weapons permit classes to provide good education on both gun laws and gun safety, so consider taking one. Accidental discharges are all too common and can result in death, terrible injury, and criminal prosecution. The number one and two rules when handling guns are (1) always pretend they are loaded, even if you are sure in your mind they aren’t, and (2) never point the gun at someone even if you believe it isn’t loaded.
Charleston Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Know Handgun Laws in South Carolina
This article is written as a summary on the gun laws in South Carolina, and it does not address every applicable law. If you have any specific questions regarding guns, are considering selling a gun, or are charged with a crime concerning a gun, call the criminal attorneys at Futeral & Nelson to discuss your rights and options.