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What are the Gun Laws in South Carolina?

Machine Guns, Antiques & Replicas, Miscellaneous

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Anyone in legal control of property may prohibit the carrying of concealable weapons by posting signs expressing the prohibition at each entrance to the building.

The carrying of loaded rifles and shotguns may be limited to certain areas during game seasons and is prohibited at all times in certain designated areas.

It is unlawful in any park or facility under the jurisdiction of the S.C. Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to possess any firearm except in areas specifically designated for use of firearms.

Licensed hunters may have firearms in their possession during hunting seasons provided such firearms are unloaded and carried in a case or trunk of a vehicle. These prohibitions do not apply to a person carrying a concealable weapon with a permit.

Any person convicted of carrying a pistol or firearm onto the premises of a business which sells alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises shall be subject to an additional penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment and/or $2,000 fine.

Machine Guns

A machine gun is defined as any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. It also includes the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

It is unlawful for a person to possess a machine gun, sawed off shotguns and sawed off rifles.

Those not subject to the prohibition include members of the armed forces, the National Guard, law enforcement officers, railway policemen, and persons whose employment involves keeping custody of prisoners. Other persons may possess machine guns kept for display as relics and which are rendered harmless and not usable. All machine guns, operable or nonoperable, must be registered with the State Law Enforcement Division.

Prohibitions on possession of machine guns also do not apply to any manufacturer of machine guns or military firearms licensed pursuant to federal law, any person authorized to purchase these weapons by a federal agency, or persons licensed to possess machine guns by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Antiques & Replicas

The statutory definition of a pistol does not include any firearm generally recognized or classified as an antique, curiosity, or collector’s item, or any that does not fire fixed cartridges.

It is the policy of the state to use federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms guidelines on classifying antiques, curios, collector’s items, or handguns not firing fixed cartridges. Such firearms are exempt from state purchase requirements mentioned above, but law enforcement authorities do not consider antiques exempt from the limitations on carrying.

Miscellaneous

  • A person who commits or attempts to commit assault with intent to kill, arson, armed robbery, burglary, drug trafficking, murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, or criminal sexual conduct while possessing or displaying a firearm or what appears to be a firearm shall in addition to the punishment provided for the crime be sentenced to a mandatory term of 5 years.

  • No person shall knowingly buy, sell, transport, pawn, receive, or possess any stolen handgun or one from which the original serial number has been removed or obliterated.

  • It is unlawful for any person to construct, set, or place a loaded trap gun, spring gun, or any like device in any building or in any place.

  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm at or into a house, dwelling or other building regularly occupied by people.

  • It is unlawful for a person to discharge a firearm at a vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or other conveyance while it is occupied.

  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

  • No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance which regulates or attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.
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