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Constitutional Carry vs Open Carry vs Concealed Carry Permit

Today we are going to have a little education around constitutional carry vs open carry vs conceal carry permit.  I want to have this conversation because of the new laws here in South Carolina because there is still so much misinformation getting passed around, even from the media and more.  There is a difference between them, and everyone needs to understand what each is and how this pertains to what you can and can’t do inside and outside of South Carolina.

First, we are going to discuss Constitutional carry which was recently passed here in South Carolina at the beginning of March.  Now some states and people will refer to Constitutional carry as permitless carry, because they essentially mean the same thing.  Constitutional carry means you can carry concealed without a permit in this state, whether you are a resident or not.  Now not every state that is Constitutional carry is like that, meaning some states require you to be a resident of that state to be able to carry without a permit, and some states are like here in South Carolina.  So, make sure that you check the state laws when you travel outside of your state.  Also, the age limits vary from state to state with the Constitutional carry, meaning for South Carolina anyone 18 years of age or older can now carry concealed without a permit, and can also apply for a permit.  Again, not every state is like this, and some are 21 so if it is a state that allows anyone in the state to Constitutional carry, make sure you check their age limits.  But if you apply for a permit in this state then the age limit of another state has no bearing when you travel to another state, as long as they have reciprocity with South Carolina.  We will be discussing this more in depth when we get to talking about the concealed carry permit.   Now a lot are calling Constitutional carry, open carry, and this is not the same thing.  What most states will do is when they pass Constitutional carry, they will tack on open carry with it, giving you the option to do one or the other.  Again, Constitutional carry and open carry ARE NOT the same thing.

With that being said let’s get into open carry.  Open carry means you have to openly carry your handgun.  It cannot be concealed anywhere under any clothing.  Just like it says, then handgun has to be displayed out in the open where everyone can see it.  That is what open carry means and has absolutely nothing to do with Constitutional carry except the fact that most law makers will again tack that on with Constitutional carry, so you have the option to choose between one or the other.  Now there are some states that are just open carry, or you have to get a concealed carry permit to be able to carry concealed or have a permit from another state that is recognized by the state you are traveling to.  The same thing there as with the Constitutional carry, the age limits can vary so make sure that you are checking the states laws.   So, just to recap open carry and Constitutional carry are not the same thing, most law makers will tack on open carry when they pass Constitutional carry

Last, let’s talk about the concealed carry permit.  Some states still require you to have these if you want to carry a handgun concealed on your person.  Like we discussed earlier, your states that are only open carry will require you to get a concealed carry permit.  With Constitutional carry states you also still have the option to get a concealed carry permit.  So, for South Carolina the concealed carry permit will really only help you when purchasing a firearm by helping speed the process up because the permit shows you have already passed a background check.  The other thing it will do is it can make some of your charges less, than if you decide to Constitutional carry.  Now the permit is not a guarantee you will not be charged the same as someone who chose to Constitutional carry, because it will ultimately come down to the prosecutor in your area.  Ultimately the carry permit for South Carolina mainly comes into play when you travel outside the state because like we discussed not all states are like our state when it comes to Constitutional carry, and some states are only open carry which would require you to have a permit from that state or from a state that they recognize or have reciprocity with.  And a side note to reciprocity is just because South Carolina might not recognize the state you are traveling to carry permit, that state might still recognize ours, so again also make sure you check the gun laws for the state you are traveling to because every state is different.

I hope this helps everyone understand the difference.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us and you can also find videos on our YouTube channel linked in on our website.


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