Gun in vehicle


New Member
Nope, as long as it is not under your seat, but a glove box or center console is fair game. At least thats what I understand. Might be good to keep it separate from your car documents though...


New Member
the way i took it was if it wasn't on your body it had to be in a container that was permanently attached /bolted to the vehicle ... trunk,console,glove box


New Member
Cwp only applies to the weapon on your body (or bag ie, purses, backpacks, fanny packs exc.). In the car the only legal place you can "carry" one other than on your person (with a cwp), is a glovebox or center console, can't put them under the seat, between the seats, in the door pouch. Or the trunk of course.

I am sure a Leo will be along to correct me if I am wrong, but the above is my understanding of current handgun law in sc

HHB Guns

New Member
Sorry I haven't been on the forum very much lately. Between College, HHB, Sheriffs Office, and family time I haven't got much free time.

16-23-20 : (9) a person in a vehicle if the handgun is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle; however, this item is not violated if the glove compartment, console, or trunk is opened in the presence of a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of retrieving a driver?s license, registration, or proof of insurance;

LOL- Just don't go reaching for the registration in that compartment and pick up the gun to move it off the papers. True story...I came a split second from shooting a young man one night. He didnt tell me he had a gun and opened the center console and pulled out the handgun that was sitting on top of the registration. I saw the gun and can't say exactly what I said but he dropped the gun with the quickness and I think he saw his life flash before his eyes. There was one of us on both sides of the car and we both yelling at the top of our lungs. When we pulled him out the car I smelled something pretty nasty...I never asked him but I think he sharted.

Common places I arrest people for is putting it under the seats, magazine racks behind seats, or door panel holders.

Thugs are so dumb though. Even first timer thugs are funny....They are allowed to have a loaded gun in the car and most are new to the thug life and have no priors but they are too stupid to read and understand the laws on where to keep it so they ALWAYS keep it under the seat and we bust them for Unlawful carry of a firearm....
Yep, what HHB said!

I was able to recover 2 stolen guns this weekend thanks to thugs leaving their stolen handguns in plain view in their vehicles


Active Member
If a woman has a pistol in her purse and her purse is on the floor of the car is this legal?


Great discussion guys. I do not have a CCW but I do carry a firearm in my vehicle thanks to this law.

My question is this: Just like a CCW carrier, do I have to tell the officer at the time I am stopped that I have a weapon in my vehicle, or can I wait until it becomes necessary to open the compartment before telling them. I don't want to 'shart' myself by having a police weapon pointed at me :)


New Member
i would think you have to tell the police officer you have a weapon in the vehicle. i really wish they would change that i hate being made to feel like a criminal at a simple traffic stop


This is simple really. You can carry w/o a CWP in SC if you're going fishing, hunting or to a shooting range/event. This means to and from your home to the "activity" location, no stops in between.

Step 1: make sure you have a valid hunting/fishing license.
Step 2 (option A): place your tackle box and Zebco rod & reel in the trunk.
Step 2 (option B): place your camo hunting clothes & boots in the trunk.
Step 2 (option C): place your range bag & targets in the trunk.
Step 3: you can now strap the gun to your side open carry style and drive.
PCShogun said:
Great discussion guys. I do not have a CCW but I do carry a firearm in my vehicle thanks to this law.

My question is this: Just like a CCW carrier, do I have to tell the officer at the time I am stopped that I have a weapon in my vehicle, or can I wait until it becomes necessary to open the compartment before telling them. I don't want to 'shart' myself by having a police weapon pointed at me :)
You are under no obligation to inform the officer that you have a gun in the car if carried in the secured container.

Strictly speaking, you do not have to inform the officer that you have a gun under 23-31-215 either. (emphasis added)

(K) A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon. When carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 31 of Title 23, 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. A permit holder immediately must report the loss or theft of a permit identification card to SLED headquarters. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined twenty-five dollars.
I'll stop short of offering advice as to whether you should tell a LEO if you are carrying or not.


Active Member
i was going to post that, clicker. ive been carrying in the car for about 35 years.

hunting or fishing is the loophole.

BUT, up here if you aim your car lights off the road (to see the deer) and there is a weapon in it you can be arrested for shinning, poaching.


do you forfeit all these rules when you enter federal land (airport parking lot) were they have a posted sign about firearms?


As long as no state law or local law forbids it, and the airport doesn't "post", you can carry all the way up to the security checkpoint, but not past it.

Most states have no laws forbiding the carry of a firearm in an airport. Some states have laws criminalizing carrying discretely (CC) in an airport, but do not have laws about carrying openly (OC) in an airport. Some states have laws that forbid any mode of carry in an airport:

Keep in mind, cities like New York City ban the carry of firearms whether you have a "permit" or not. Obviously, you can't carry in airports in New York City. As long as there're no local ordinances in the other cities/counties in New York state, then you may carry in the airports in those municipalities, as long as the airport doesn't post.


New Member
Frost said:
If a woman has a pistol in her purse and her purse is on the floor of the car is this legal?
Good question!
I hope someone with more knowledge will chime in (Henry?) but I would think it's not legal because the container holding the gun must be in the luggage carry area.
I wouldn't put a gun in my purse without having a ccw anyway because I think you'd have a difficult time convincing an officer, judge etc, that you were going to remove the gun before you exited the car. To my mind it would be similar to a man having a gun in his coat pocket while it was laying on the seat next to him in the car.


Edit: Added the specific subsection (exception) relevant to the the discussed interpretation...

If I remember correctly, the SC Attorney General, and a court case or two, interpreted the verbiage "carry a handgun ABOUT his person" in Section 16-23-20, Subsection 12, in the SC code of law, in such a way to make sure men and women, that hold CWPs, are not discriminated against when driving with a handgun in a purse or "man bag" while in a vehicle. The following is the verbiage I am talking about:

SECTION 16-23-20. Unlawful carrying of handgun; exceptions.

It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law:
(12) a person who is granted a permit under provision of law by the State Law Enforcement Division to carry a handgun about his person,under conditions set forth in the permit,
At one point, I think a bill in legislature wanted to change the verbiage to something closer to "concealed on the person". Grassroots fought to get the verbiage amended before it was ratified. They said that verbiage would destroy the interpretation the courts and SC Attorney General had on "purse" carry while in a vehicle or while out and about.

I will post my sources for this info when I remember where I put them.

Other states have similar verbiage as "about" in their concealed carry statues and their government's interpretation of the verbiage is similar to our AG and court cases.


Some quotes and links that asserts that a CWP holder can have a handgun in a purse/handbag/carrybag within reach of you you while driving:

H. 3310 sponsored by Rep.Mike Pitts put into the statuteswhat was already lawful ? that aCWP holder can legally carry aconcealed firearm ?on or about hisperson? while in a vehicle. Thislaw was a result of CWP holdersbeing told by some law enforce-ment officers that CWP carry ina car was not lawful, and that thefirearm must be in a glove boxor console. The bill as originallydrafted would have required aCWP holder who carried her selfdefense sidearm in her purse to re-move it from her purse and put thesidearm into the glove box, con-sole, or trunk while in the vehicle. It was GrassRoots? eternal vigi-lance that discovered this problemof discrimination towards women,and it was a GrassRoots proposedamendment that fixed this problem.Rep. Mike Pitts fully supported theGrassRoots proposed amendmentonce he was made aware of theproblem

H. 3310: This bill - enacted into law effective May 14, 2007 - codifies what every reasonable person already knew the law to be, i.e., a CWP holder can legally carry a concealed firearm ?on or about his person? when in a vehicle. The bill as first drafted would have required a CWP holder who carried her self defense sidearm in her purse to remove it from her purse and put the sidearm into the glove box, console, or trunk while she was in the vehicle. It was GrassRoots? eternal vigilance that discovered this problem, which was discriminatory against women, and it was a GrassRoots proposed amendment that fixed this problem. Rep. Mike Pitts fully supported the GrassRoots proposed amendment once he was made aware of the problem.
GrassRoots Position: GrassRoots supported this bill.
Primary Sponsor: M. A. Pitts
Full Text:

Currently, according to a SC Attorney General opinion dated October 9, 1998, CWP holders may carry their concealed handgun in a purse or briefcase. See 1998 WL 940262 (S.C.A.G.). But, if H. 3310 was to pass as currently written, the courts would most likely rule that a CWP holder could not carry her handgun in her purse of briefcase while in a vehicle. Instead, a CWP holder would be forced to remove the handgun from the purse or briefcase and put the handgun either on her person (which would most likely not happen because she would have already had the handgun on her person if that was her desired way to carry) or into a glove box, console, or trunk. Since females are the CWP holders most likely to use a purse as a means to conceal their handguns, this bill would disproportionately negatively impact female CWP holders. to House subcommittee re CWP carry in vehicles.pdf

1998 WL 940262 (S.C.A.G.) seems to be the one that might address a CWP holder having a firearm in a purse/briefcase/carrybag, off their body, while in a vehicle.

The SC Attorney General's website, does not host the opinions that were given before 2004. So in order to get theopinion the AG wrote up about the purse issue, one would have to contact the Office of the Attorney General Law Library to get it.

I'm still searching for case-law...