If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
South Carolina law makes it illegal for someone to have or buy any firearm or ammunition if s/he:
- was convicted in South Carolina (or of a similar crime in another state) of domestic violence in the first degree or domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature;
- was convicted in South Carolina of domestic violence in the second degree (or of a similar crime in another state) and the judge:
- was convicted in South Carolina of domestic violence in the third degree (or of a similar crime in another state) and at the time of sentencing, the judge:
- specifically ordered that the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.*
In addition, South Carolina state law says that a person cannot have or buy a handgun if s/he:
- has been convicted of a "crime of violence" in any state or territory, which includes:
- manslaughter (except negligent manslaughter arising out of traffic accidents);
- assault with intent to kill, commit rape, or rob;
- assault with a dangerous weapon; or
- assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; or
- is a fugitive from justice (someone who fled from any law enforcement officer to avoid prosecution or imprisonment for a crime of violence).**
Note: The prohibitions against having a firearm or ammunition, as explained in numbers 1 - 3, above, generally only last for a limited period of time.*** See If the abuser is prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition, how long does the prohibition last? for more information.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person's right to have a gun under certain circumstances such as when the abuser has been convicted of a felony or certain domestic violence-related crimes. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
* S.C. Code § 16-25-30(A)
** S.C. Code §§ 16-23-30(A)(1) & (B); 16-23-10(3),(4)
*** S.C. Code § 16-25-30(E)