State Law Background
South Carolina law does not:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require firearm owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Impose a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms or ammunition; or
- Give law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In addition, due to a law enacted in 2012, South Carolina no longer:
- Requires retail firearms dealers selling handguns to obtain a state license; or
- Imposes a melting point test, a form of design safety standard, for handguns.
However, South Carolina did enact a law in 2013 that requires the reporting of some mental health information to the federal database used for firearm purchaser background checks. South Carolina also enacted a law in 2015 that prohibits gun possession by certain domestic abusers.
In 2016, South Carolina had the 10th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, South Carolina is a significant source of guns used in crimes in other states. Based on firearms tracing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, South Carolina supplied the sixth highest number of crime guns to other states per capita in 2016, and exports far more crime guns than it imports.
South Carolina Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in South Carolina, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.