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South Carolina knife laws

South Carolina knife laws
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In South Carolina, knife laws are in place to govern the type of knives that one can own, carry, and the locations where knives are restricted. These laws are detailed in the South Carolina Code of Laws, providing specifics on legal and illegal knives, how they can be carried, and the consequences of violating these laws. Understanding these laws is important to ensure compliance while residing in or visiting the state. Here, we delve into the details of these laws.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In South Carolina, individuals are generally allowed to own and carry a broad variety of knives. These can include, but are not limited to:

Illegal Knives

South Carolina does not specifically prohibit the ownership of any particular type of knife, including switchblades, as per South Carolina Code Section 16-23-460.

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

South Carolina law does not specifically restrict the open carry of knives. Generally, individuals are permitted to openly carry knives, including in vehicles.

Concealed Carry

While the state permits the concealed carry of knives, it restricts the carrying of a knife with a blade length exceeding two inches if the person intends to use the knife for a crime, as per Section 16-23-460 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Restricted Locations

Despite the permissive approach to knife ownership and carrying, there are locations where carrying a knife is restricted in South Carolina, which may include:

  1. Schools and school properties (including colleges and universities) as per Section 16-23-420.
  2. Government buildings and courthouses.
  3. Private properties where knives and other weapons are prohibited by the property owner

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Law enforcement officers and members of the military are generally exempt from many of the restrictions placed on civilians. This includes being able to carry knives and other weapons in places that are typically restricted to the general public, provided that they are carrying out official duties.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violating knife laws in South Carolina can result in a variety of penalties. These might include fines, imprisonment, or both depending on the nature and gravity of the violation. For example, carrying a weapon on school property is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.


While South Carolina has fairly liberal knife laws, allowing for the ownership and carry of various types of knives, there are still important regulations and restrictions to consider, especially concerning concealed carry and restricted locations. Adhering to these laws helps to ensure the safety of the public and avoids legal repercussions.


South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 16-23-460

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