According to South Carolina law, possessing a firearm is illegal for someone who has not been convicted of a violent offense. This law applies to those convicted of a crime classified as “a violent felony” and other crimes designated as “violent.” This article will discuss when a person cannot possess a firearm in South Carolina.
When Gun Laws Apply to Certain People
When South Carolina gun laws apply to an individual, they apply to the following types of crimes: violent crimes, weapons charges, and drug charges. Those convicted of these crimes have already lost their right to possess a firearm in South Carolina. However, certain individuals convicted of one of these types of crime can still be prohibited from possessing firearms. These people are also referred to as “prohibited possessors.”
The following individuals will be prohibited from possessing a firearm in South Carolina.
A person convicted of a crime is classified as a violent felony. This includes homicide, kidnapping, assault, burglary, and robbery;
A person who is convicted of any act of domestic violence;
A person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs (excluding marijuana); and
A person committed to a mental institution in the past five years.
The following individuals will be prohibited from possessing a firearm in South Carolina for criminal charges.
A person that has been charged with a violent crime;
A person that is deemed a fugitive from justice or wanted for extradition to another state; and
A person that has been charged with an arrestable offense.
Felon in Possession of Firearm Laws
South Carolina law generally prohibits felons, a person convicted of a violent crime or other designated crimes, from possessing firearms or ammunition. However, the Attorney General may authorize a felon to possess a firearm if certain businesses employ the individual. For example, lawyers, law enforcement officials, and security guards employed by a business must be allowed to possess firearms.
Not every person prohibited from possessing a firearm can be determined to be a prohibited possessor. The law recognizes the following people as prohibited possessors.
A person that has been committed to a mental institution in the past five years or is awaiting trial for such an offense; and
A person convicted of certain violent crimes in the past ten years.
South Carolina Firearms Laws
South Carolina firearms laws regulate the ownership of firearms and firearm accessories in the state. Firearm laws in South Carolina make it illegal to own an unregistered handgun, shotgun, or rifle, purchase or sell ammunition unless licensed to do so, and manufacture, transport, or possess certain short-barreled rifles and certain firearms with silencers.
In addition, it is illegal for minors under the age of 18 to possess a handgun and for anyone not allowed by law to own a gun to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Federal firearm law also prohibits certain persons from shipping, transporting, and receiving firearms or ammunition in interstate commerce.
Carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is regulated by South Carolina law and may be permitted for certain individuals, such as law enforcement officers. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division issues permits. It is a violation of South Carolina law to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or for a permittee to carry a concealed weapon while intoxicated. In addition, concealed weapons may not be carried into certain areas such as police stations, courthouses, and schools.