South Carolina

South Carolina Law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FIREARM PROHIBITIONS

South Carolina Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

South Carolina prohibits the shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing of a firearm or ammunition by:

  • Persons who commit domestic violence in the first degree;
  • Persons who commit domestic violence in the second degree and (1) “the court made specific findings and concluded that the person caused moderate bodily injury to their own household member” or (2) “the judge at the time of sentencing ordered that the person is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition[;]”
  • Persons who commit domestic violence in the third degree and “the judge at the time of sentencing ordered that the person is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition[;]”
  • Persons who commit domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature;
  • Persons convicted of a similar crime in another state, tribe, or territory.1

“Household member” is defined to include:

  1. A spouse;
  2. A former spouse;
  3. Persons who have a child in common; or
  4. A male and female who are cohabiting or formerly cohabited.2

In 2013, the Supreme Court of South Carolina held that the definition of “household member” violated the equal protection clause as-applied to the victim of assault allegedly by a same-sex fiancé and, therefore, Family Courts may not utilize the definition to prevent the victim in the present case or those in similar same-sex relationships from seeking an order of protection.3

South Carolina prohibits the shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing of a firearm or ammunition by persons subject to a domestic abuse order of protection, issued by a South Carolina court, or the court of another state, tribe, or territory in compliance with the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, if the court:

  1. At the time of the hearing, 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” and
  2. “[O]rdered that the person is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition.”4

SOUTH CAROLINA DOMESTIC ABUSE ORDER OF PROTECTION FIREARM REMOVAL

Civil Domestic Abuse Orders of Protection that Require Removal

South Carolina does not require removal of firearms and ammunition from persons subject to domestic abuse orders of protection.

This page was updated October 30, 2018. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.