South Carolina prohibits any person from transporting a machine gun within the state.1 Keeping, storing, possessing, selling, renting, or giving away a machine gun are also generally prohibited activities, unless the possessor is authorized to possess a machine gun by the federal government, among other exceptions.2
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.3 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.4
South Carolina allows persons in dangerous professions, such as law enforcement, corrections, or the military, among others, to possess a machine gun if the person registers the machine gun per state law.5 In addition, the state issues special limited licenses for the possession, transportation and sale of machine guns to: 1) authorized representatives of a machine gun manufacturer or dealer engaged in demonstrating and selling such guns to agencies authorized by law to possess them; or 2) persons engaged in professional movie-making or providing services to professional movie-makers who use machine guns for special effects purposes.6
See our Machine Guns policy summary for further information.
- S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-220.
- S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-23-230, 16-23-240, 16-23-250.
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).
- Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).
- S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-330.
- S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-370.