Hurricane season has arrived, and if the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that you can never be too prepared for what Mother Nature has in store…
With that in mind, we want to make sure that all South Carolinians are prepared for the season. First, all South Carolinians should be familiar with the state’s hurricane preparation recommendations. These can be found within the State of South Carolina’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide. However, in addition to these preparations, South Carolina gun owners must also know the law if they are forced to evacuate during a state of emergency.
What The Law Says
Regarding natural disasters and other states of emergency, South Carolina has no specific law that allows a person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor. To carry concealed, a gun owner must still have a Concealed Weapon Permit (“CWP”) to carry on his or her person.
The gun owner who does not have a CWP is still entitled to carry in his or her vehicle legally if he or she is not a prohibited person under federal or state law, and the gun must be carried in the vehicle in compliance with South Carolina law. It is important to note that South Carolina law prohibits any county, municipality, or political subdivision from passing regulations or ordinances that regulate or attempt to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms.
However, during natural disasters such as a hurricane, counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions may regulate the use, sale, transportation, or public brandishment of firearms. So, it is important for the gun owner to keep abreast of local developments during a natural disaster.
Carrying A Firearm While Evacuating To A Border State
Many times, people evacuate to a surrounding state. Both Georgia and North Carolina recognize a South Carolina CWP under our state’s reciprocity agreement with those particular states. So, a South Carolina CWP holder may carry concealed in these states, subject to their laws and restrictions.
Both Georgia and North Carolina allow those without permits to carry in their vehicles as long as they are not a person prohibited from carrying by law. When traveling to those or any other states during an evacuation, make sure to know how to properly transport and possess your firearm.
Hurricane season is here. Stay safe, be prepared, and listen if told to evacuate. We want all South Carolinians to be safe and to stay legal during this hurricane season.
If you have any questions at all about evacuating with your firearms, traveling to your ultimate destination during the evacuation, or any other firearm-related questions, please give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to be connected to your Independent Program Attorney.
ALERT: Make sure to check all state and local laws and reach out to your Independent Program Attorney as you prepare for emergency situations. Click here for the latest webinar discussion regarding travel restrictions during a pandemic with Sam Malone, featuring Independent Program Attorneys David Katz, James Reeves, Emily Taylor, and Richard Hayes.
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.