First and foremost, I noted that South Carolina should also be known as We-don’t-care-about-your-southern-out-of-state-carry-permit. I have heard a number of reasons, (though yet to confirm any of them) but inexplicably, South Carolina specifically excludes the carry permits of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi in their reciprocity. This could be due to the fact that South Carolina requires proof of training and a vision test, prior to a person being issued a carry permit. However, I’ve also heard that a neighbor-state-feud, over the name of a lake, is the cause.
So I can’t conceal carry, but may I put my gun, loaded, in my glove box and head out? Some will say that when considering the “transport “ of a gun through a state we need not worry, because of the Federal Transportation statutes. In my opinion, this isn’t a good tactic. My main reason for saying this is that the likelihood of one facing federal law enforcement and federal courts when caught not observing that state’s gun laws are slim so I prefer to air on the side of caution when protecting myself from prosecution. I realize this is an oversimplified example, but its just my personal strategy.
In Georgia my pistol can be loaded and on the seat next to me, since, according to this state’s laws, my car is an extension of my home and anything I could do in my home, like wear my gun, loaded, on my hip, I may do in my car. Not so in South Carolina. As a non-permit holder, my gun must be in a “closed” case in my vehicle. This means that the glove box or trunk would be fine, but that holster the attaches to the steering column, would be a no-go.
Another major difference between South Carolina’s carry laws and Georgia’s is that if pulled over during my trip, I would have the “Duty to Inform” law enforcement of the presence of a firearm in my vehicle. In Georgia, we have the option not to inform. This is a handy option for anyone who doesn’t have time for an average traffic stop to take five times as long.
Since my May trip to Asheville, North Carolina a few months ago, I also checked on the laws around carry in restaurants and/or establishments that serve alcohol. I have already established that for me (and my GA CCP) concealed carry would not be an option at all, but I was still curious. And what I learned was that, just like North Carolina restaurants and any establishments that serve alcohol are off limits. However, South Carolina does differ in that they don’t include a provision barring carry into an establishment that charges admission.
All these little differences make keeping up with each states laws utterly complicated, but I guess that’s the how it has to be if we want to travel legally. Still, I will keep wondering what kind of beef there is, between GA and SC.