You’ve got the car packed up with swim wear, beach toys, boogie boards, beach balls and other necessities a vacationing family needs. You’re in for a fun-filled week at Myrtle Beach and you’re taking your gun along with you, as always, to protect your family. But do you know South Carolina’s gun laws? Is your concealed carry permit valid at Myrtle Beach?
Disclaimer: This article is now nearly 2 years out of date & since it hasn’t been updated, we strongly urge you to confirm all laws with the Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina or a knowledgeable lawyer. We don’t want you to accidentally break the law. Further, we are in no way liable for the information contained herein. Please check the facts yourself.
South Carolina recognizes concealed weapons permits (CWP’s) for people who are NOT South Carolina residents, but are residents of the state they hold a CWP in:
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
If You Don’t Have a Recognized Permit
If your state is not listed above or you don’t have a concealed weapons permit, you cannot conceal carry your firearm while in South Carolina. Like Florida, South Carolina bans open carry in most public places.
If you do not have a recognized permit for South Carolina, your firearm may be transported (loaded or unloaded) in a closed glove compartment, console box or trunk. If you’re riding a motorcycle, the firearm should be secured in a closed saddlebag or other similar accessory container.
While transporting your firearm on foot (such as to & from your beach cottage/hotel), the gun must be unloaded and secured in a closed case. One exception would be if you’ve already paid for your hotel stay (including any tax), you can carry a loaded handgun into your room.
Licensed hunters and fishermen may also carry loaded handguns, while they are hunting and fishing, but do not need a permit to do so.
My CWP is Valid in SC; Now What?
Keep in mind that your permit is only valid for concealed carry, not open carry of firearms. There are no laws regarding where a gun must be located while in a vehicle. However, use common sense and keep it secured and away from little ones. Guns are not dangerous; criminals and inexperienced/careless users are.
You may not carry a firearm in the following places (unless it’s unloaded, in a locked case and remains in your vehicle):
- Public buildings (government)
- Federal buildings
- State capitol
- Scholastic athletic events
- Medical care facilities
- Day care centers
- Churches (Guns used to be legal in church, as evident by an old law: “Every citizen is obliged to carry his gun to church.”)
- Private businesses that post signs banning firearms
- Restaurants or any other establishments serving alcohol for on-site consumption
To carry a concealed firearm into a person’s private residence, you must first have their express permission to do so. Failure to receive permission can result in a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you can get up to a year in jail and/or $1,000+ in fines. If you have a South Carolina concealed weapons permit, your permit must also be revoked for 5 years.
A person who carries a concealed weapon into a bar, restaurant or other place of business that serves alcohol by the drink must have his permit revoked (if he has an SC permit), his firearm confiscated and can be fined up to $500 and/or get 90 days imprisonment.
Keep in mind that only recognized CWP holders may carry firearms in state parks.
Laws That Apply to Everyone – Regardless of Your Permit Status
Immediately upon official contact with any law enforcement officer, state law requires you to inform the officer of your permit status and if you have a gun. Remember, while it is a good idea to also inform the officer of your firearm’s location, do NOT reach for it – that’s a good way to get yourself shot.
South Carolina’s firearm laws are uniform throughout the state, so you won’t find each city & county with a new set of rules. Myrtle Beach laws are no different than any other location in South Carolina. So kick back and enjoy your Myrtle Beach vacation – you’re in the midst of a gorgeous haven!
Note: Please realize gun laws change constantly. We are in no form liable or responsible for the information contained here. While we strive to provide up-to-date, valid information, it is your responsibility alone to get in touch with the Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina to confirm laws and other regulations. Thank you!
Carrie Thompson, who proudly exercises her 2nd amendment rights on a daily basis, is also an avid beach bum who can’t pass up a chance to visit the sandy shores of the east coast. For deals on Myrtle Beach hotels, resorts, restaurants, local attractions, news, events and more, check out Vacation Myrtle Beach. You can also circle Carrie on Google+.