Open Carry Bill Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When does the Open Carry bill go into effect?

Governor McMaster signed H3094, the South Carolina Open Carry Act on May 17, 2021. The bill goes into effect 90 days later, which is August 15, 2021.

I already have a South Carolina CWP, do I have to go through another class and get another permit?

No, you do not. If you already have a South Carolina CWP you are good. The Concealed Weapon Permit Instructors will have to change their curriculum to add a few more things into their classes.

I have taken my CWP class, but haven't submitted my application to SLED yet. Do I have to retake the class?

If you have taken your class but not submitted your application to SLED yet, you MUST get that application postmarked NO LATER THAN August 14, 2021 in order to use the paperwork you currently have. Effective August 15, 2021, SLED will require the NEW version of the student checklist that shows your class included the newly required curriculum subjects. If you are exempt from the firearms portion of the class (i.e. prior military), then you do not have to meet the August 15th deadline, but you are still bound by the maximum of 36 months after completing your class to get your application submitted.

Who can open carry?

South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) holders and persons 21 or older who have a carry permit from a state South Carolina recognizes and are residents of the state that issued the permit. https://www.sled.sc.gov/cwp.html#reciprocity

Did the application fee to SLED get removed?

There will no longer be a $50 application fee for new applications or renewals beginning with CWP applications and renewals submitted on or after 08-15-2021. You will still have to pay whatever fee your instructor charges for the CWP class and whatever fee IDENTOGO charges if you choose to get your prints done electronically.

I don't want to openly carry my firearm.

Great! That is your choice. If you have a CWP you now have the choice whether to carry concealed or to tuck in your shirt or simply remove your jacket when you go out to eat without fear of breaking the law just because someone sees your firearm.

Can I have a magnet mount in my car now?

No. The places you can have your firearm in your vehicle have not changed. 16-23-20 (9) a person in a vehicle if the handgun is (a) 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 […] If the person has been issued a concealed weapon permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23, then the person also may secure his weapon under a seat in a vehicle, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle's passenger compartment; or (b) carried openly or concealed on or about his person...

Will I be able to open carry my AR pistol?

No. Although the open carry of long guns (shotguns & rifles) is, and has basically always been, legal, the carry of pistols or handguns is what is regulated in South Carolina. You will still have to have a carry permit (called a Concealed Weapons Permit here in South Carolina) to carry a pistol openly or concealed. Carry permits ONLY allow the permit holder to carry a "concealable weapon" which is defined by the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 23-31-210 as "a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension." An AR pistol is well over that maximum 12 inches length. The smallest known functional AR platform firearm is currently 14.7 inches overall length.