New legislation is being proposed by the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee that would effectively make owning a gun in South Carolina extremely difficult.
The legislation is being proposed due to a high domestic abuse rate in the area and a high death rate for women.
Critics of the proposals call the proposed legislation “unconstitutional” and will lead to an overall gun ban in South Carolina.
Unconstitutional or sensible?
The Post and Courier reports:
“The idea, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a sensible proposal to eliminate opportunity to continue domestic violence that escalates to death,” Martin said.
The bill, if adopted, would bring dramatic change to the state’s domestic violence laws for the first time in a decade. It closely mirrors proposals that a special House Committee has been discussing for months.
Among other things, the bill would:
Restructure criminal domestic violence laws into a tiered system of degrees based on the severity of the crime, with escalating penalties that range from 30 days in jail to 10 years in prison. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has advocated for such a system, saying prosecutors and judges need greater discretion in meting out charges and penalties.
Bar those convicted of domestic violence offenses or facing protective orders from possessing firearms or holding a concealed-weapons permit. Batterers would face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 if caught with a gun.
Require those charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature to attend a batterer intervention program and bar them from having firearms or ammunition as a condition of bail.
Allow courts to grant permanent no-contact orders to prevent abusers from harassing victims. Police could arrest violators without a warrant and the offender would face a felony carrying up to five years in prison.