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Thread: South Carolina carry laws

  1. #1
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    Question South Carolina carry laws


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    So I just moved to upstate South Carolina and I'm having a hard time finding the laws about knife carry. I want to carry fixed and folder blades ranging in sizes. I'm tring to find the state codes on carry but I'm having a hard time finding and understanding what little I do find. Any advice that points me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Right now I'm wanting to open carry a 4" fixed blade (the bk16)

    Thanks guys!

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    I know you cant carry an automatic. Thats the only main thing thats out there to make sure you follow. Currently the City laws are the only limiting laws. A preemption law is being passed (thanks to knife rights of america) to make it were city cant be harsher than state law. I normally carry a 3-4 inch folding blade and have no problem. I once got caught with a bunch of kabars in the back of my jeep and nothing was sad. It all sort of depends on the cop and how he is feeling

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    They changed the law a few years ago I think, thanks to knife rights. In any event, here are the official laws themselves:
    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t16c023.php

    As the currently law stands, all knives are legal for carry, period. Even switchblades. The only prohibitions are against possessing a knife during the commission of a crime, or on school property.

    As mentioned, some cities have tighter restrictions than the state law, however a bill is in the legislature as we speak that will render all such local laws toothless (preemption).

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    Thanks guys! I'll have a read through that.

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    I live in gville and don't have any problems...

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    Quote Originally Posted by n8swag View Post
    I live in gville and don't have any problems...
    What are you carrying though? The fb I carry is about 4" in blade length.

  7. #7
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    you won't have any problems here in SC... I live in the upstate of SC (Greenville area) as well and am actually a law enforcement officer in the county. Glistam is right above... it does appear as if the law was changed a few years back. I will highlight the important info for you...

    Old law:
    "South Carolina - 16-23-460. Carrying concealed weapons; forfeiture of weapons.
    Any person carrying a deadly weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injury concealed about his person is guilty of a misdemeanor, must forfeit to the county, or, if convicted in a municipal court, to the municipality the concealed weapon, and must be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days. Nothing herein contained may be construed to apply to (1) persons carrying concealed weapons upon their own premises or pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4 of Chapter 31 of Title 23, or (2) peace officers in the actual discharge of their duties. The provisions of this section do not apply to rifles, shotguns, dirks, slingshots, metal knuckles, or razors unless they are used with the intent to commit a crime or in furtherance of a crime. "

    New law:
    "16-23-460: (A) A person carrying a deadly weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injury concealed about his person is guilty of a misdemeanor, must forfeit to the county, or, if convicted in a municipal court, to the municipality, the concealed weapon, and must be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days.
    (B) The provisions of this section do not apply to:
    (1) A person carrying a concealed weapon upon his own premises or pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31 of Title 23; or
    (2) peace officers in the actual discharge of their duties.
    (C) The provisions of this section also do not apply to rifles, shotguns, dirks, slingshots, metal knuckles, knives, or razors unless they are used with the intent to commit a crime or in furtherance of a crime."

    Old law:
    "16-23-405. Definition of "weapon"; confiscation and disposition of weapons used in commission or in furtherance of crime.
    (1) Except for the provisions relating to rifles and shotguns in Section 16-23-460, as used in this chapter, 'weapon' means firearm (rifle, shotgun, pistol, or similar device that propels a projectile through the energy of an explosive), a knife with a blade over two inches long, a blackjack, a metal pipe or pole, or any other type of device or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death.
    (2) A person convicted of a crime, in addition to a penalty, shall have a weapon used in the commission or in furtherance of the crime confiscated. "

    New law:
    16-23-405: Definition of "weapon"; confiscation and disposition of weapons used in commission or in furtherance of crime.
    (A) Except for the provisions relating to rifles and shotguns in Section 16-23-460, as used in this chapter, "weapon" means firearm (rifle, shotgun, pistol, or similar device that propels a projectile through the energy of an explosive), a blackjack, a metal pipe or pole, or any other type of device, or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death. " I.e. no mention of knife in this new statute.

    These two laws pretty much sum up the knife laws... there are other factors (if you use it during the commission of a violent crime, different rules for school property, etc.) but nothing more about carrying it. I know that I have never heard of any other fellow LE officer making any charges for having any type of knives unless there were other factors involved. I probably wouldn't strap your junglas on your leg and walk into wal-mart, but as long as you are concealing your knife you will be fine. hope this helps.

    on school property your knife has to be less than 2" in blade length

    *disclaimer (due to the nature of my job): this is not meant to be legal advise. please seek competent legal advise about such laws before carrying.
    Last edited by razor-edge-knives; 07-23-2012 at 11:21 PM.

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    It's good to see that the law has been changed. The old law was ideal for selective enforcement that often reflected the biases of whatever LEO a person might run into. It's good to know I have a wide range of carry options when I visit family.

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    I hate to beat a dead horse but am I right in understanding that its essentially legal to carry a knife of any length (I don't carry anything larger than an esee 3 anyways) on your person so long as its not on school grounds, concealed or an accessory in a crime?

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    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife2.pdf <---this one starts at montana so SC is on this one.
    Here is a list of every states major cities municipal law. I used to work at a knife store in Greenville and I live sometimes there. The laws are annoying. Some cities, you will get in trouble for too big of a blade. In charleston, a friend of mine had a 3.5 inch blade knife. He was stopped on his motorcycle and when they saw it, boom. Nice little ankle bracelet now. be careful in SC, some cops are nice, Some are just dicks.


    Can anyone link the law that says its legal to carry an Auto??? I want to get it and carry it on me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chipped Karambit View Post
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife2.pdf <---this one starts at montana so SC is on this one.
    Here is a list of every states major cities municipal law. I used to work at a knife store in Greenville and I live sometimes there. The laws are annoying. Some cities, you will get in trouble for too big of a blade. In charleston, a friend of mine had a 3.5 inch blade knife. He was stopped on his motorcycle and when they saw it, boom. Nice little ankle bracelet now. be careful in SC, some cops are nice, Some are just dicks.


    Can anyone link the law that says its legal to carry an Auto??? I want to get it and carry it on me.
    DO NOT use those links. They are badly out of date and factually incorrect. The actual law for SC is here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t16c023.php

    When a knife is legal, there is no law that says it's legal. There is simply a lack of laws saying it's illegal. If no law in the SC state code says autos are illegal, they are legal.

    Preemption bill invalidates all local city laws, making the state the only one that matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    DO NOT use those links. They are badly out of date and factually incorrect. The actual law for SC is here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t16c023.php

    When a knife is legal, there is no law that says it's legal. There is simply a lack of laws saying it's illegal. If no law in the SC state code says autos are illegal, they are legal.

    Preemption bill invalidates all local city laws, making the state the only one that matters.
    Nice. I was listing municipal laws. Each city has its own laws that I was pointing. They are out of date but that is what the officers enforce. Over 3 inches in charleston can get you with an ankle bracelet easy. The state laws are loose but the municipal laws are sometimes harsh

    Can someone link me the preemption law?? I thought it was still in the process and not passed yet

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    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_...bills/4609.htm

    I think from the text, the preemption bill wasn't voted on. Guess I jumped the gun.

    Here's Charleston:
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/102...PIKNBLEXTHINLE

    Quote Originally Posted by Chipped Karambit View Post
    They are out of date but that is what the officers enforce.
    If a law no longer an exists due to legislative action, any officer trying enforce it can kiss his badge goodbye. Happened up here in Maryland (in that case, knife law that never existed in the first place). Unless you meant the laws themselves are from a bygone time and unnecessary in today's world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_...bills/4609.htm

    I think from the text, the preemption bill wasn't voted on. Guess I jumped the gun.

    Here's Charleston:
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/102...PIKNBLEXTHINLE


    If a law no longer an exists due to legislative action, any officer trying enforce it can kiss his badge goodbye. Happened up here in Maryland (in that case, knife law that never existed in the first place). Unless you meant the laws themselves are from a bygone time and unnecessary in today's world.
    Since the preemption isnt in effect that must mean the 3inch law still is enforceable, that sucks

  15. #15
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    Well, that specifically states concealed about his person. So it's all good if you just strap it openly to your belt plain as day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarnetandBlack View Post
    Well, that specifically states concealed about his person. So it's all good if you just strap it openly to your belt plain as day?
    im curious. If someone can get a lawyer or a pro to verify that, I wouldn't mind carrying a fixed blade

    I am also curious if a pocket clip classifies as a concealed weapon. Since the clip sticks out, it is kinda like a holster on the hip. it is visible in a sense

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    Just get a concealed weapons permit and don't sweat it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarnetandBlack View Post
    Well, that specifically states concealed about his person. So it's all good if you just strap it openly to your belt plain as day?
    If the law only says concealed and nothing about open carry, open carry is legal, period. Don't need a lawyer to know that. Of course this leads to the usual conundrum of where you draw the line between open carry and concealed (pocket clips being the most problematic). No easy answer to that even with a lawyer. It would probably be decided case by case unless the carry is blatantly obvious (e.g. belt sheath with shirt tucked in and no jacket). Also open carry still opens you up to possible harassment if the carry doesn't fit with the context of where you are or what you're doing. See: http://weaponlaws.wikidot.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulaco View Post
    Just get a concealed weapons permit and don't sweat it.
    A friend of mine owns a gun store and I asked him about CWPs and knives. In south Carolina he said it only applies to guns.
    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    If the law only says concealed and nothing about open carry, open carry is legal, period. Don't need a lawyer to know that. Of course this leads to the usual conundrum of where you draw the line between open carry and concealed (pocket clips being the most problematic). No easy answer to that even with a lawyer. It would probably be decided case by case unless the carry is blatantly obvious (e.g. belt sheath with shirt tucked in and no jacket). Also open carry still opens you up to possible harassment if the carry doesn't fit with the context of where you are or what you're doing. See: http://weaponlaws.wikidot.com
    Seems like a good read. Thanks man

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