Skip to Main Content
Last updated .

Generally, a person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a firearm may lawfully store a firearm anywhere in a vehicle, whether occupied or unoccupied,1 except:

  • On any elementary or secondary school property, or premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, university, technical college, other post-secondary institution, firearms must remain in an attended or locked vehicle, and must be secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.2
  • At any park or facility under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, licensed hunters who possess firearms in a vehicle must store them unloaded and carried in a case or the trunk of the vehicle.3
  • On capital grounds or in the parking garage below the capitol grounds, firearms must remain in a locked vehicle and must be stored in a place in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any person.4

A luggage compartment is defined as:

[T]he trunk of a motor vehicle which has a trunk; however, with respect to a motor vehicle which does not have a trunk, the term “luggage compartment” refers to the area of the motor vehicle in which the manufacturer designed that luggage be carried or to the area of the motor vehicle in which luggage is customarily carried. In a station wagon, van, hatchback vehicle, truck, or sport utility vehicle, the term “luggage compartment” refers to the area behind the rearmost seat.5

South Carolina also prohibits any passenger on a bus or any other public transportation vehicle from carrying or possessing a firearm.6

Finally, South Carolina prohibits the possession, carrying or having readily accessible a loaded centerfire rifle, or shotgun loaded with a shot size “larger than number four” on a public road or railroad right-of-way if the person does not have permission to hunt the land immediately adjacent thereto.7 This prohibition does not apply, however, to a centerfire rifle or shotgun contained in a vehicle traveling on a public road, a closed compartment, or a closed vehicle trunk.8


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at

  1. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-20(D).[]
  2. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-23-420(A), 420(B).[]
  3. S.C. Code Ann. § 51-3-145(G).[]
  4. S.C. Code Ann. § 10-11-320(B).[]
  5. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-10(10).[]
  6. S.C. Code Ann. § 58-23-1830(a)(3).[]
  7. S.C. Code Ann. § 50-11-760.[]
  8. Id.[]