Navigating the CWP

SC Concealed Weapon Permit and What You Need to Know

So you are thinking the time is now but the South Carolina permit application process seems complicated. Take a breath and relax… it’s not. Let’s start with the basics.

Basic Requirements:

  • Must be 21 at the time of submission of your application.
  • Must legally be ALLOWED to own a firearm (you do not actually need to own one though. We can help with that).
  • Must have successfully completed the South Carolina Concealed Weapons Course by a SLED certified instructor (not the online scams you see popping up on Facebook).
  • If required, successfully complete the course of fire in the presence of a SLED certified instructor. Prior military are exempt from this requirement. Must have a DD214 during submission.
  • Submit all required items to SLED (your instructor will go over this with you during your class).
  • Must be a South Carolina Resident, certified non-resident (own property), or military member on PCS orders.

Steps for getting your permit:

Sign up for a class:

Find an instructor in your area. Each instructor brings their unique teaching style to the table. Not all instructors are created equal. Do your research and do not pick one to teach you just because they are cheap. Find a reputable instructor based on the quality of their instruction and ability to articulate the law so you have a clear understanding of it.  After all, if you are forced to use deadly force, it is YOU that must explain your actions to the law enforcement officer, not the instructor who signed your paperwork.

Firearm selection for class:

Find, borrow, or rent a firearm that is easy to use for the course of fire.  The firearm you use for the course does not have to be the one you carry after you receive your permit. If you use a 22LR for the class, you can still carry your favorite 45 long colt.  The course consists of 25 rounds and DOES require you to draw from a holster. It is highly advisable that you practice with the firearm or one similar to it prior to your class start.  Many instructors will not go over pistol basics prior to completing the course of fire, but the good ones will.

It is also worth mentioning that if an instructor is stripped of their credentials because they are not conducting the course correctly, all of their students could have their permits revoked. Do not take your course from those who will just sign your documents and take your money. Under the law, you could also be held responsible, charged with a crime, and fined.

Fingerprints and Documents:

It is advisable that you DO NOT get your fingerprints rolled by your instructor. Ricochet Range instructors highly advise you get your fingerprints digitally rolled through IDENTOGO after completing your course.  This will ensure there are no issues with your prints because they either got lost or smudged in the mail. Upon completion of your course, you will be given signed documents by your instructor. DO NOT LOSE THEM.

Submitting Your Documents

NOT RECOMMENDED METHOD – If submitting your documents by mail, you will need the following:

  • Completed application (signed by you and your instructor)
  • Instructor/Student Checklist (signed by your instructor)
  • Front and back color copy of your state issued ID or Drivers License 
  • Two, good quality, complete sets of fingerprints (if they are badly rolled or smudged, it will delay your application process)

RECOMMENDED METHOD – Submitting your required documents though IDENTOGO. You will make this appointment after completing your class. Once at your appointment, the technician will scan your documents given to you by your instructor and digitally roll your fingerprints as required by law to process your application. Prior to arriving at your appointment, ensure you have the following:

  • Completed application (signed by you and your instructor)
  • Instructor/Student Checklist (signed by your instructor)
  • Your state issued ID or Drivers License 

After submitting your documents, whether it be digitally or snail mail, SLED has up to 90 business days to process your application and send you back either a determination letter or your permit itself.

Final Thoughts

Ricochet Range in Sumter is here to help. If at any point you feel you need further help whether you were one of our students or not, we will answer any questions you may have.

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