The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is issuing guidance to the public regarding the Open Carry with Training Act that was signed into law May 17 to ensure those who own handguns remain in compliance with the law.
“It’s critical for gun owners to understand the new law before carrying their weapon in public,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel.
Though the law has been signed by Governor Henry D. McMaster, this Act has a 90-day implementation delay and thus this law does not go into effect until August 16. Therefore, current valid concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders are not authorized to openly carry a handgun in South Carolina until that date.
It is also important to know that the Open Carry with Training Act does not change the law on who can carry a firearm. Rather, it merely changes the way a CWP holder can carry a handgun in public in South Carolina.
In addition, the Open Carry with Training Act also does not change where a CWP holder can carry in South Carolina nor does it change the right of a public or private business or employer to post a sign prohibiting or allowing the carrying of a concealable weapon by a valid CWP holder.
During the next 90 days, SLED will be working to develop the necessary training curriculum for the handgun education course; coordinate with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy to create and provide training for law enforcement personnel; and overhaul our internal process to handle the required changes that impact applications and renewals.
Anyone who owns a firearm and is interested in openly carrying their weapon in public is strongly encouraged to thoroughly read the recently signed law and all applicable South Carolina gun laws.