days delayed ()
+ checks in queue
NJ NICS data as of 
 days delayed ()
+ checks in queue
NJ NICS data as of 

South Carolina Passes Constitutional Carry – Second State This Week

Share this story

South Carolina capitol building

South Carolina became the second state in one week (following Louisiana) to pass a permitless carry law, also known as “Constitutional Carry.”

On Thursday, March 7, Governor Henry McMaster signed H3594 into law after it passed a 28-18 Senate vote and an 86-33 House vote earlier in the week. The new law takes effect immediately.

In a statement on Twitter, Governor McMaster said, “With my signature, South Carolina is now the 29th state in the country with Constitutional Carry. This bill expands the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens and will keep violent criminals behind bars with increased penalties for illegal gun use and possession.”

The new law allows any adult 18 years or older (who is not otherwise prohibited) to carry a handgun openly or concealed without a permit. The State also continues to offer permits for concealed carry. Twenty-nine states now have some form of permitless carry.

As with many other such bills, there is a long list of prohibited locations where guns may not be carried, such as government buildings, polling places (on election days), hospitals, schools, colleges, and daycare facilities, among others. Guns may also not be carried into private property displaying a sign barring firearms. They may however be carried in churches with approval from the pastor in charge. Carrying a firearm onto a location that serves alcohol for consumption is prohibited unless that person does not consume alcohol.

Uniquely, the bill includes millions of dollars in available funding for those who wish to electively take free, state-provided firearms training, something anti-gun groups have called for at times, but are unlikely to praise or acknowledge.

South Carolina Attorney General, Alan Wilson, made the following statement on X regarding the bill:

Not only will this protect the 2nd Amendment, it helps law enforcement & prosecutors crack down on criminals possessing firearms illegally. Law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be penalized for the behavior of bad guys. With this, that won’t happen.

His statement is a stark departure from the position of New Jersey Attorney General, Matthew Platkin, who championed banning nearly all public places for concealed carry and imposed strict and onerous qualifications for PTC holders that include extensive background checks, training, and shooting qualifications (all of which are being challenged in court).

National Rifle Association interim Executive Vice President and CEO, Andrew Arulanandam, was extremely positive about the news.

“Thanks to the unwavering support of our members, in about 48 hours, the NRA has secured Constitutional Carry victories in two states, Louisiana and South Carolina, bringing the total to 29 states that have enacted this critical legislation—13 since Joe Biden took office,” Arulanandam said in an exclusive comment to Fox News Digital.

The South Carolina bill has not been without controversy and is not considered a “clean” bill by many legal analysts. Early versions attempted to impose mandatory training among other caveats (the training measures are now elective). The compromise bill still includes tougher penalties for those caught carrying in prohibited locations, as well as those who are convicted of a crime involving a concealable weapon.

As Washington Gun Law President, William Kirk, pointed out in his analysis, the heavier penalties do NOT apply to those who have a valid state permit, meaning citizens exercising their right to self-defense can be treated differently under the law depending on whether they opted to get a permit or carry under the permitless scheme.

The law was also coupled with measures to bring stiffer penalties to career criminals. It includes greater penalties for people who illegally carry, like felons.

If you like our articles… please subscribe to our 2nd Amendment update list. We generally send one email per week containing 2A news you might’ve missed.

Share this story

Notify of
Inline Feedback
View all comments
Tell us what you think!x