South Carolina v. Georgia, Carry Laws

carry permits accepted in South Carolina

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.

states accepting a South Carolina carry permitAnother 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.


  1. Starting Oct 1, 2013 you can carry in a restaurant in NC that serves alcohol but you can’t consume. Also places that charge admission will not longer be off limits by law.

    Also your Georgia permit is valid in NC. You see North Carolina honors all other states permit/licenses to carry concealed firearms. You can find all this info at my website at Just click on the map of the state you want info about and that states page will open.

  2. Gabby, here is your answer to the question about reciprocity between SC and Ga..


    “Representatives Greg Delleney and Mike Pitts introduced H. 3212 on January 10, 2007, as a pure concealed weapon permit (CWP) recognition bill. Thus, South Carolina law would have changed to automatically honor a CWP issued by another state. Later that month Reps. Haley, Chellis, Owens, and Rice added their names as cosponsors to H. 3212.

    On March 13th, 2008, during debate on the Senate amendment of H. 3212, Senator Jim Ritchie said, “…under this amendment we will expand [concealed weapon permit (CWP) reciprocity] by 15 new states…” He went on to say the Senate version of H. 3212 would “more than double” the number of states with which South Carolina has CWP reciprocity.

    During that same debate, Senator Jake Knotts said he did not want “untrained” citizens from other states to be able to carry a concealed weapon in our state. Georgia requires no training to obtain a CWP, and Georgia has no problems with their CWP holders. Unfortunately, Sen. Knotts’ opposition to Georgia CWP holders carrying in SC means SC CWP holders must travel at greater risk of harm while in Georgia. Does Sen. Knotts think law-abiding CWP holders from Georgia would suddenly go berserk if they cross into South Carolina?”

    Senator Jake Knotts was fully supported by the NRA that also supported this amendment and Bill.

    1. I don’t think the senator assumes a mass shooting from a GA permit holder, but I’m constantly worried about untrained shooters who carry and intend to handle their own self protection…

      Ps not sure if I’m miss understanding your quote, but it seems to be saying that GA offers SC permit holders, reciprocity. However, according to my research, GA does not. This part of the reason there seemed to be more to the story than just permitting procedures

  3. Gabby, show me the news reports of all the un-trained GWCL holders shooting innocent people while defending their lives.

    And yes, you are misunderstanding my quote. I gave you a link to information on the SC Legislative process in 2008. Senator Jake Knotts was a Republican and fully supported by the NRA. Senator Knotts (while in office) “killed more pro gun legislation in South Carolina than Feinstein.” His Amendment to H. 3212 took away the chance for SC to reciprocate with Georgia. He did this willingly and fully supported by the NRA.

    You mused about why Georgians don’t have reciprocity with South Carolina and I’m trying to help you with that question by supplying you with information on the reasons why.

    SC doesn’t even give a Georgia resident the ability to go get a non-resident carry license from a state they already have reciprocity with so that Ga. resident can then carry legally in SC. SC accepts no non-resident carry licenses. Here in Georgia, our law is written in such a way that a SC resident can go get a non-resident carry license from a state we have reciprocity with and the SC resident can then carry legally in Ga.

  4. As someone who frequents Asheville I have to say that the ban on carrying in places which serve alcohol is ridiculous. Anything remotely interesting in Asheville offers alcohol… half the book stores offer alcohol! One of the worst “good intention” laws on the books IMO.

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