Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. South Carolina ranked 36th out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, the South Carolina legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.
Laws that Strengthen Gun Regulation
|SC H 3560||Strengthens prohibitions on firearm possession by dangerously mentally ill, requires submission of records to NICS and cross-checking of mental health adjudications with concealed weapon permittees for purposes of disarming prohibited persons.|
Among other things, South Carolina:
- Requires retail firearms dealers selling handguns to obtain a state license; and
- Imposes a melting point test, a form of design safety standard, for handguns.
However, South Carolina law does not:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require firearm owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Require the reporting of mental health information to the federal database used for firearm purchaser background checks;
- Impose a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms or ammunition; or
- Give law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In 2010, South Carolina had the 15th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, South Carolina supplied the sixth highest number of crime guns to other states per capita in 2009, and exports far more crime guns than it imports.
South Carolina Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in South Carolina, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.