South Carolina is one of the most politically conservative states in the United States. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Palmetto State has some of the friendliest pro-gun laws in the nation.
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South Carolina is known as a “shall-issue” concealed carry permit state. A permit is not needed to buy handguns, rifles, or shotguns in the state. South Carolina also has established legal protection on residents’ use of guns to defend themselves, loved ones, and property from intruders and burglars invading their home, business, or motor vehicle.
There are a couple of restrictions to this law. Open carry is prohibited in South Carolina, although a permit is not required to store a loaded handgun in the glove compartment or console of a vehicle. It is also against the law to carry a firearm onto public or private school property and inside publicly owned buildings unless you seek and receive permission from the state.
South Carolina also honors similar concealed carry gun laws from other states through reciprocity. Residents of those states may carry concealed guns in South Carolina if they own similar permits from the state in which they reside. These so-called reciprocal carry states are Wyoming, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.
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South Carolina’s gun laws are in line with a growing segment of the American population. For the first time since it began polling on the issue more than 20 years ago, a December 2014 Pew Research Center poll showed
that 57 percent of respondents said gun ownership protects people from various crimes, and 52 percent said it is “more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership.”
Eighty percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Democrats agreed that owning a gun protects people from crime. Republicans far outnumber Democrats in South Carolina, so this view can be clearly seen in South Carolina gun laws.
South Carolina is one of the most politically conservative states in the country on gun legislation and regulation along with the rest of the South, the Southwest, Maine, Vermont, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The states with the strictest gun laws include politically liberal-leaning states like California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
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