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August 17, 2021

New Open Carry Law and What Businesses Need to Know

The state’s new Open Carry With Training Act went into effect on Aug. 15, 2021, after being signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on May 17. The new law allows concealed weapons permit (CWP) holders to openly carry their concealable weapon on them or in their vehicle.

The full text of the law can be read here.


South Carolina Open Carry With Training Act Information Session (Aug. 17, 2021) – City of Myrtle Beach Captain Joey Crosby reviews the South Carolina Open Carry with Training Act and what this means for your business.

Open Carry With Training Act Fast Facts

  • Amends CWP law to allow for open carrying of concealable weapons.
  • Concealable weapons must be less than 12 inches.
  • To openly carry, must be 21 years of age and have a CWP.
  • Training and background checks required for a CWP.
  • Businesses can restrict all concealable weapons, concealed or openly carried.
  • Municipalities can temporarily restrict open carry weapons on public property during permitted public events.

What Businesses Need to Know

The new bill also allows businesses and private property owners to prohibit the carrying of concealable weapons onto their premises or property, whether that be a building, machinery or a vehicle. Violators can be charged.

Business owners can forbid concealable weapons on their premises by posting the state-regulated sign that states, “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED.” While these signs technically mean that “openly carried” weapons are also not allowed, the general population may not know or understand that the phrase “No Concealable Weapons” also includes openly carried weapons. To remedy this, business owners can add the phrase “No Openly Carried Weapons” as well.

The state has requirements for these signs and if a business posts a sign that does not meet the criteria, anyone who brings a weapon into the building could theoretically do so without fear of legal ramifications.

Sign Requirements

  • Must be posted at each entrance into a building where a CWP holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon, whether concealed or openly carried.
  • Must be clearly visible from outside the building.
  • Must be 8 inches wide by 12 inches tall in size.
  • Must contain the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” in black one-inch-tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign.
  • Must contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle seven inches in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal.
  • Must contain a diameter of a circle.
  • Must be placed not less than 40 inches and not more than 60 inches from the bottom of the building’s entrance door.
  • To comply with the current requirements, the sign should still include the phrase: “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED,” but it could be helpful to add after that phrase the following: “NO OPENLY CARRIED WEAPONS ALLOWED.”

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