SC - Concealed Carry in Church
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Thread: SC - Concealed Carry in Church

  1. #1
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    SC - Concealed Carry in Church

    I'm wondering if the line in the SC state gun laws is more about separation of church and state than any other reason:

    (9) church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body;

    With that being said, does anyone know if it is legal to carry a concealed weapon on church property, if permission has been given, regardless of whether you have a CWP or not?

    I've applied for mine but have around 80 more days to wait until I get my permit back in the mail. I've been given permission to carry at church and wonder if I can carry there like I do at home.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbarton713 View Post
    I'm wondering if the line in the SC state gun laws is more about separation of church and state than any other reason:

    (9) church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body;

    With that being said, does anyone know if it is legal to carry a concealed weapon on church property, if permission has been given, regardless of whether you have a CWP or not?

    I've applied for mine but have around 80 more days to wait until I get my permit back in the mail. I've been given permission to carry at church and wonder if I can carry there like I do at home.
    I am not a lawyer I only play one on TV.

    However my guess would be that if you are allowed to have one in your home you should be allowed to at church since it is private property and you have permission from the church.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. - Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your thoughts on this. The law is somewhat ambiguous but I think that as long as I have permission in the church it is ok.

  5. #4
    There are two statutes that may cover this but I don't know which one would apply.

    (8) a person in his home or upon his real property or a person who has the permission of the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of the home or real property;
    (13) the owner or the person in legal possession or the person in legal control of a fixed place of business, while at the fixed place of business, and the employee of a fixed place of business, other than a business subject to Section 16-23-465, while at the place of business; however, the employee may exercise this privilege only after: (a) acquiring a permit pursuant to item (12), and (b) obtaining the permission of the owner or person in legal control or legal possession of the premises;
    Since a church would not normally be considered a business I would think it would fall under (8) instead of (13) so without a permit you would be fine as long as you have permission. You need to take into account that both of the above statutes are not just for CC but for OC as well. I would think that as long as you have permission and CC so no one gets upset that you would be fine even if there were a tragic case where you had a need to use it. Since IANAL or Judge and I doubt that anyone could tell you for sure except the SC Supreme Court in an actual case use your best judgement and good luck.

  6. #5
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    If I carry there it will be concealed and just pray to God that I never have a need to use it.

  7. #6
    FN, good to point out (8) and (13). However, churches (and other religious entities) are non-profit organizations, which is a type of business. The church has its own Tax ID Number, receives income, and spends income. Regardless, if bbarton has obtained permission from those who "legally control" the church, then he would most likely be ok in carrying.

    But I would get it in writing, because pastors, deacons, elders, whatever, change all the time. And like FN said, it really boils down to a SC supreme court judge and his/her interpretation of the law.

    SC CWP
    NH non-res CWP
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  8. #7
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    You should probably make sure your church knows before hand that you dont have your ccw permit as of yet just to make sure there wont be a problem if incase you actually do have to use it " God forbid " Cover your 6 at all times
    State and local politicians should be on notice: the Second Amendment is a normal part of the Bill of Rights, and it is coming to your town.
    Attorney Alan Gura

  9. #8
    Churches are not exactly non-profit organizations as they can make a profit but do not have to pay taxes. They do have to pay sales tax I think but not property taxes or income taxes. They do have to pay taxes on salaries etc. Therefore they are different than your standard non-profit or elemosonary organization. Fact is I don't know how it would be ruled.

  10. #9
    Some of the above information is not entirely correct, not criticizing anyone in particular. A church is considered a business entity for this purpose. So a concealed carry permit would be required.

    A convent, monastary, rectory, or hearth would be considered a "home" for the purposes of this statute, i.e. people actually use the location as a residence. However no other part of the church's campus would fall under this status.

    I personally would like to see items 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 eliminated from subsection (M) of SC 23-31-215. This would vastly improve the state's carry law.

  11. #10
    If things turn bad in a church then who is the courts going to deem the appropriate church official, not picking apart anything but if you get permission from the pastor and the court says the deacons then your screwed, another very grey area

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