If the abuser is prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition, how long does the prohibition last?
The prohibitions against having a firearm or ammunition generally only last for a limited period of time. (The time limits do not apply, however, to the prohibition from possessing a handgun).
The only prohibition against having a firearm or ammunition that lasts a lifetime is if the abuser was convicted of the crime called domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. If the prohibition is based on the abuser having an order of protection against him/her, the prohibition lasts until the order expires. If the abuser was convicted of domestic violence in the first degree, the prohibition lasts for ten years from the date of the conviction or from the date the abuser is released from prison, whichever is later. If the abuser was convicted of domestic violence in the second or third degrees, the prohibition lasts for three years from the date of the conviction or from the date the abuser is released from prison, whichever is later.*
Note: Once the ten-year period or the three-year period of time has passed, the abuser's rights to possess a firearm or ammunition may still not be restored (given back to him/her) if s/he has any domestic violence charges pending against him/her at the time or if s/he has been convicted of any other domestic violence crimes that would prohibit him/her from having a firearm.**
* S.C. Code § 16-25-30(E)
** S.C. Code § 16-25-30(F)(1)