You happen to lose your South Carolina Conceal Weapon Permit (or “CWP”), and want to know if you could still carry your firearm concealed on your person, while you wait for your replacement. Unfortunately, you may not, according to South Carolina Law.
what the law says
S.C. Code Ann. §23-31-215(K) states, “A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon.” Further, the statute goes on to state, “… a permit holder must inform a law enforcement officer of the fact that he is a permit holder and present the permit identification card when an officer: (1) identifies himself as a law enforcement officer; and (2) requests identification or a driver’s license from a permit holder.” The statute also requires the immediate reporting to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or “SLED” as it is known, of any lost or stolen CWP. Violations of the provisions of this subsection shall constitute a criminal misdemeanor upon conviction, and must be fined $25, payable to the clerk of the court.
You may be thinking, “It is only a $25 fine, I will take my chances.” The problem with taking your chances is that you could still be arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon, which is a Class C misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.
A law enforcement officer has no obligation to verify you do, in fact, have a CWP if you do not have it on you. Finally, a conviction under either statute could endanger your right to a CWP.
Having a valid CWP is an affirmative defense to the crime of possession of a concealed weapon, but remember, affirmative defense apply only at trial. So, do you really want to take the chance of going to jail, paying a bond to get out of jail, and then fighting the case in court?
If you have any questions about carrying a concealed weapon while you are waiting on your CWP replacement card, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.