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South Carolina Gun Control Laws

There may be two very loud sides to the national debate on gun control, but both gun owners and the general public can agree that safety is priority number one. The Palmetto State has extensive gun control regulations that attempt to balance both sides’ interests and ensure safety. Here are the basics of gun control laws in South Carolina.

Gun Control Laws in South Carolina

States have the ability to craft their own gun control laws that limit the purchase and use of firearms. While the Second Amendment can protect the right to own certain arms, some weapons and accessories, like sawed-off shotguns and Teflon-coated ammunition are illegal under South Carolina law. The state has no waiting period for prospective gun buyers, but does enforce certain eligibility requirements for gun ownership.

South Carolina Gun Statutes

The chart below highlights some of South Carolina’s gun control laws.

Code Section

South Carolina Code of Laws 16-23-10, et seq.: Offenses Involving Weapons

Illegal Arms

Machine gun; sawed-off shotgun/rifle, military firearm; teflon-coated ammunition, defaced firearm; tear-gas gun

Waiting Period


Who May Not Own

Pistol: 1. Convicted of crime of violence; 2. Member of subversive organization; 3. Under 21 with military exception; 4. Anyone court has adjudged to be unfit to possess pistol; 5. Fugitive from justice; 6. Habitual drunkard or drug addict; 7. Mentally incompetent

Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

Misdemeanor or Felony. 16-23-420, 430

Along with South Carolina’s particular gun laws, the federal government also regulates gun ownership, also by limiting the types of firearms a person may legally own. And it is important to note that where federal and state laws overlap, federal law always trumps. Therefore, gun owners in South Carolina are also subject to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the National Firearms Act. As noted above, though the Second Amendment allows citizens to own certain firearms, the government, both state and federal, are still permitted to put some restrictions on how guns may be purchased and the kinds of guns people can own.

South Carolina Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

State firearms regulations like South Carolina’s can be lengthy. For more articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s Gun Law section. If you would like legal assistance with a gun matter, or if you would like to know your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner in South Carolina, you can contact a South Carolina attorney in your area.

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