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States of Emergency, quarantines, and disaster declarations can bring fear and panic for everyone, due to the uncertainty surrounding them. When state governments throughout the U.S. have varying policies regarding how your rights change, it can be confusing for anyone to fully understand their freedom during these times.

When it comes to your firearms, be assured that we will keep you up to date on any changes in the law that impact your rights. 

As for general Coronavirus updates and local and national conditions, the news on these restrictions is coming fast and furious across the nation. Please follow state, local, and national news, as this information can change by the day and hour.

State of Emergency

South Carolina has now declared a State of Emergency, as many states have done. Public schools and colleges have shut down classes, sporting events and concerts are canceled, and officials are warning to avoid close contact with large groups.

Right to Carry During a State of Emergency

So, how would South Carolina declaring a State of Emergency affect your right to carry your weapon? South Carolina law does not address this issue, and its silence on the subject means that the right to carry is unaffected during a State of Emergency.

Additionally, South Carolina does not allow any county, municipality, or other political subdivision to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms except during times of a demonstrated potential for insurrection, invasions, riots, or natural disasters.

Would the current crisis qualify to allow these local regulations during a State of Emergency? As the current crisis is unprecedented, that may be a question for the courts to decide.

Prohibited Places

Perhaps the bigger concern with the current State of Emergency is to remember that Concealed Weapons Permit holders are prohibited from carrying into a hospital, medical clinic, doctor’s office, or any other facility where medical services or procedures are performed, unless specifically authorized by the employer. It’s important to note that the law specifically says “employer,” meaning the general public is not allowed to carry even with authorization of the medical facility.

Quarantines

South Carolina Laws have been enacted to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and to ensure that any disease, or diseases, are subject to proper treatment and control.  South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Services was granted the power under the South Carolina Code of Laws Ann. § 44-4-510-540 to isolate and quarantine individuals and groups of individuals during a public health emergency.

Law enforcement or the public safety authority may arrest, isolate, or quarantine anyone in violation of an isolation or quarantine order. Failure to comply with such an order constitutes a felony punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or not more than 30 days, or both, upon conviction. Obviously, it is against both federal and state law for an individual convicted of such a felony to possess either guns or ammunition. Any such arrest could additionally result in the firearms being confiscated pursuant to an arrest.

Stay Informed and Stay Safe

It will be important in the days and weeks ahead to stay tuned to your local news to keep abreast of what is happening in your local community, as well as in the State of South Carolina and the nation. You may click here for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division for the latest updates and news.

Everyone here at U.S. LawShield wishes our membership to remain safe during the current pandemic. We will attempt to keep you informed as developments arise here in South Carolina and our nation. If you have further questions, feel free to call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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