Good afternoon, Mr. Morris:
Let me give you a bit of history about our dealings with South Carolina on the matter of reciprocity and the up-to-the minute details as to where we stand at the moment.
As you may be aware, South Carolina has long been one of those states that will enter into reciprocity with another state only if the licensing standards in that other state are similar to its own. (This is completely different from Florida's reciprocity provision. We will honor the concealed weapon licenses issued by another state provided that the other state will honor our concealed weapon licenses.) Our efforts to establish reciprocity with South Carolina have failed up till now because authorities at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have informed us that Florida did not qualify for reciprocity. They cited specific differences between our disqualifying criteria and our training standards.
Apparently, under the recent changes made by the South Carolina General Assembly, South Carolina will now honor the concealed weapon licenses issued by another state provided only that the other state requires an applicant to successfully pass a criminal background check and to complete a course in firearm training and safety.
I received a letter earlier this month from Captain Clifton Weir of SLED's Regulatory Services Office requesting details regarding Florida's background check and training requirement. I furnished him with specific information regarding the provisions in Florida law that require an applicant to submit a fingerprint card for a criminal background check and documentation of firearms proficiency.
The question in my mind is simply this: will the requirement in Florida law for an applicant to submit documentation that "demonstrates competence with a firearm" be sufficient to meet South Carolina's condition that the other state require an applicant to compete a firearm training and safety course? The matter is out of our hands now. It will be up to the authorities at SLED to determine if our background check and our documentation of firearms proficiency requirement qualify us for reciprocity with South Carolina.
We will, of course, add South Carolina to our reciprocity webpage if we receive good news from SLED. Please let me know if you need additional information.
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Licensing