Both state and federal laws place restrictions on the possession and usage of firearms. In addition, criminal offense penalties could be enhanced if they involve the use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun. To avoid the significant sanctions that you may face for violating state firearm laws, contact a Georgetown gun lawyer for advice.
As a gun owner, it is your responsibility to know the laws of your state concerning your possession and usage of guns. If you fail to follow these laws, you could risk substantial repercussions, including a loss of the ability to possess firearms in the future. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and assist you in defending yourself from gun-related criminal charges.
What is Unlawful Carrying of Handguns?
Under S.C. Code § 16-23-20, individuals may not carry handguns unless they possess a concealed carry permit or fall within one of many exceptions to this law. For instance, people can carry guns freely on their own property, as well as on the premises of owners who give visitors permission to do so. Individuals can also legally transport handguns in their vehicles as long as the firearms are secured in closed glove compartments, consoles, trunks, or sealed containers within luggage compartments.
The law also categorically prohibits some individuals from possessing guns, including anyone who has been convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.
Penalties for Illegal Gun Possession
S.C. Code § 16-23-50 states a violation of this code is a misdemeanor offense. A conviction for this offense can result in a one-year jail sentence, a $1,000 fine, and confiscation of a person’s handgun. To avoid these unwanted consequences, consulting a local firearm legal advisor could be the best option.
Where Can I Possess a Gun in Public with a Permit?
Individuals usually must have a permit to possess a gun in public. Nonetheless, there are places in Georgetown which they may not be allowed to carry a gun, whether they have a license or not. Some examples of these places under S.C. Code § 23-31-215(M) include police stations, jails, courthouses, daycare facilities, and anywhere that school athletic events are held.
The laws that restrict where an individual may carry a firearm contain exemptions for some individuals, including law enforcement officials. In other cases, gun owners must get the permission of the property owner to enter with their guns, such as in the case of churches and hospitals. A violation of this code section is a misdemeanor offense, which could result in up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, and revocation of a person’s carry permit for five years.
Gun-Related Criminal Offenses
State law establishes various other offenses that impact gun ownership and usage. For instance, S.C. Code § 16-23-410 makes it illegal to present or point a firearm at another person, whether it is loaded or unloaded. This offense is a felony, which can result in imprisonment of up to five years.
Individuals with valid permits can secure firearms in their locked vehicles. However, there are also laws which prohibit individuals from possessing firearms on school property, whether the school is public or private, or grade school or college. Likewise, it is unlawful for people on school grounds to display, brandish, or threaten others with firearms. A conviction for this offense carries the potential for five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. This code section does also contains exemptions for certain authorities, such as law enforcement officers.
Retain the Services of a Georgetown Gun Attorney Today
Gun-related crimes can have more severe consequences than you might anticipate. While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, that right is not without significant restriction. Violating these laws can make you ineligible to carry or possess firearms in the future, so consulting a Georgetown gun lawyer is highly advisable.
Federal and state gun laws can be complicated and confusing. When you are facing gun-related criminal charges, you should strongly consider contacting legal counsel for advice.