South Carolina law does not:
- Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
- Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.
South Carolina enacted a law in 2015 that generally prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by someone who has been convicted of:
- criminal domestic violence in the first degree for ten years;
- criminal domestic violence in the second degree and the court made specific findings and concluded that the person caused moderate bodily injury to their own household member;
- criminal domestic violence in the second or third degree for three years if the judge at the time of sentencing ordered that the person is prohibited from possessing guns;
- aggravated criminal domestic violence for life.1
The definition of “domestic violence” is limited to crimes against household members, and the definition of “household member” does not include dating partners.2
The law also prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by someone who is subject to a domestic violence order of protection, if the court ordered the person not to possess firearms, and at the time of the hearing the court made specific findings of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or that the person offered or attempted to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent and present ability under the circumstances, reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.3
The 2015 law also provides that these prohibitions apply if the person was convicted of a similar crime under the laws of another jurisdiction, or is subject to a similar protective order issued under the laws of another jurisdiction.4
In 2009, South Carolina enacted a law requiring a court, at the time a person is convicted of domestic violence or aggravated domestic violence, to deliver to the person a written form that notifies the person of the federal law prohibiting possession of firearms or ammunition.5
See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.