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South Carolina is quite restrictive when it comes to weapons but not knives. Many laws apply to general weapons, so knives are not always directly mentioned in the regulation. However, as you dig deeper, you will know precisely what you can or cannot do. Here is what you have to know about knife laws in South Carolina.
What knives are legal to own in South Carolina?
Switchblades and other automatic knives might be illegal in some states, but they are perfectly legal in South Carolina. Bali or butterfly knives are also accepted, as well as Bowie knives and other similarly sized knives. Stabbing knives like dirks, daggers, and stilettos are also accepted in the state, as well as disguised knives like belt buckle knives or lipstick knives.
What knives are illegal to own in South Carolina?
South Carolina does not mention any bans on knives. In other words, you can own anything you want. If a particular type of knife is not mentioned in the law, it means there are no regulations about it so that you can have it legally.
What are the limits on carry?
There are no limitations regarding the knives you can carry in the open in South Carolina. Since there are no knife bans, anything can be openly carried.
You can conceal carry a dirk, a switchblade, a butterfly knife, a stiletto, or a bowie knife. To keep it simple, South Carolina does not ban any knives in terms of concealed carry. However, it depends on what you use the knife for. When used for unlawful purposes – such as hurting someone, any object can become a weapon and becomes illegal. The same rule applies to knives.
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances
Prior to 2015, you could carry a knife in school if its blade was less than two inches in length. The law has been ditched, as schools have become weapon-free zones. You cannot carry a knife around a school, its safety zone, or transportation.
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer
There are no restrictions on selling or transferring knives in South Carolina.
Is there a statewide pre-emption?
South Carolina does not have a statewide pre-emption.
Major Cities in South Carolina with Knife Ordinances
- Charleston does not allow the concealed carry of pretty much any knife with a blade longer than three inches.
- Columbia prohibits carrying any type of weapon within the city grounds. The possession and sale of switchblades are also illegal.
- Greenville does not allow carrying knives of any kind, except for locked blade knives with blades measuring less than three inches.
You can find more cities in the table below.
|City, State||Law Title/ Chapter/ Section||Concealed Carry Legal Yes/No Folder/Length||Short description from the law|
|Aiken Co. SC||2-535.||Prohibited weapons include any form of weapon restricted under local, state or federal regulation. This includes all illegal knives|
|Belton, SC||26-126||Y||unlawful for any person within the city to possess or conceal upon his person any knife, measuring seven inches or greater in length|
|Cayce, SC||28-113.||Y 3"||It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person, concealed or not concealed, case knife six inches or longer|
|Charleston, SC||21-215.||Y 3"||unlawful for any person to carry concealed any knife the blade of which exceeds three (3) inches in length.|
|Colleton Co. SC||12.12.010||prohibits on and within its property possession or use of unsafe items This includes, but is not limited to, knives,|
|Columbia, SC||14-102.||It shall be unlawful for any person to carry about his person any case knife, within the corporate limits|
|Fountain Inn, SC||14-58||Y 3"||Possession of a locked blade knife or sporting knife in excess of three inches or greater (See Complete Code)|
|Greenville, SC||24-261.||Y 3"||Possession of locked blade knife in excess of 3" or greater gives rise to an inference that the device is a weapon|
|Hampton, SC||38-161.||Y 3"||unlawful within the town to possess or conceal any knife, measuring 7 inches or greater in length either when opened or unopened|
|Hanahan, SC||37296||Y 3"||to carry concealed a clasp knife, which has a blade more than three (3) inches|
|Irmo, SC||22-103.||Y 3"||to carry concealed a clasp knife, which has a blade more than three (3) inches|
|Moncks Corner, SC||20-143.||Y 3"||to carry concealed a clasp knife, which has a blade more than three (3) inches|
|Oconee Co, SC||Sec. 2-61||conduct at county meeting facilities/property. Facility means any building/structure/property owned/leased/rented operated/occupied,by the county/one of its departments/offices/agencies. Bring, carry, or otherwise introduce any knife with blade longer than 2 inches|
|Tega Cay, SC||34-162.||Y 4"||Concealed weapons. "weapon" means a knife with a blade over four inches long greater in length either when opened or unopened|
|Walterboro, SC||20-96||unlawful within the City to possess or conceal any knife, measuring seven inches or greater in length either when opened or unopened|
Law enforcement officers and military personnel can carry knives on school grounds.
Summary of Knife Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina is permissive when it comes to knives. There are also no critical dimensions to remember unless you go to cities like Charleston or Greenville.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.