Although most firearms laws are regulated under state law in South Carolina, some cities have chosen to enact laws that affect the use of firearms. Charleston, however, has not enacted any special laws with respect to carrying your firearm. Charleston is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in America. It is also a huge tourist draw both for its innate beauty and its Southern charm.

If you are a visitor from out of state, or even a native South Carolinian, there are some special areas of concern we want to focus on in this article with respect to carrying your firearm. Charleston is home to many historical churches, architecture, hotels, restaurants, night clubs, bars, and other tourist attractions, such as Fort Sumter. Charleston is also home to the College of Charleston, the Citadel, and their respective sports teams. With that in mind, we want to remind everyone about the laws when going out and about in The Holy City.

Transporting Your Firearm in Charleston

Let’s start with staying in Charleston. If you are staying in a hotel or other accommodation within the city upon which the accommodation tax has been paid, you may transport and possess your handgun to and from the vehicle and into your room or other accommodation; unless the hotel or other accommodation is clearly posted under South Carolina’s signage law prohibiting the carrying of a weapon.

Charleston is truly a foodie’s paradise. Those who have a South Carolina CWP, or its equivalent from another state with which South Carolina enjoys reciprocity, may carry their concealed weapon onto a premise serving alcohol, but cannot consume alcohol while carrying concealed. Once again, South Carolina’s signage law may apply if the establishment is clearly marked as prohibiting carry according to South Carolina law.

Prohibited Places

Charleston is also home to some of the oldest and most beautiful architecture in its churches and governmental buildings. As such, many tours often include visiting these buildings. South Carolina law precludes the carrying of a firearm into churches, courthouses, and governmental office buildings. So, before you go on the tour you planned, remember to leave your weapon at home. South Carolina law also does not allow for the carrying of a concealed firearm into a college or college athletic event. So before visiting your child at the College of Charleston or the Citadel, or attending a Cougars or Bulldog game, leave the handgun stored securely in your car or your room.

Charleston is also home of Fort Sumter. Situated on an island at the entrance of Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter is where the American Civil War started. Although firearms were allowed in the Fort during the Civil War, federal law now prohibits carrying a concealed weapon into any building in a national park. So, if you decide to take the tour of Fort Sumter, leave your firearms before you go.

Charleston is such a wonderful, historic, and beautiful city and should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list to visit, but be cognizant of the laws regarding carrying of weapons so your trip is a memorable one for all of the right reasons. If you have any questions about visiting the Holy City and carrying your weapon or any other weapons related question, please 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.