By: José Niño

South Carolina has finally legalized open carry. Gov. Henry McMaster signed House Bill 3094 into law earlier this week.

Under HB 3094, individuals can open carry provided they go through the training and background check process associated with attaining a concealed carry license.

The House originally passed HB 3094 on March 17, 2021. The Senate made several amendments to the bill, including lifting a $50 permit fee, and eventually passed the bill on May 6. Before passing this law, South Carolina kept bad company with other states that don’t allow open carry, namely California and New York.

“I will proudly support any legislation that protects or enhances a South Carolinian’s ability to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, and that’s exactly what this bill does,” McMaster said after he signed the bill.

Passing open carry in the Palmetto State is long overdue. Since the Charleston Church massacre of 2015, gun politics has been highly polarized. Nonetheless, the political class in South Carolina has come to its senses by recognizing that one of the most cost-effective ways for citizens to defend themselves is to lift gun control restrictions.

South Carolina cleared a major hurdle by legalizing open carry. The next step for South Carolina is to join other red states in restoring the right to bear arms by adopting Constitutional Carry.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.