As law enforcement authorities continue to crack down on gun laws, individuals in South Carolina may find themselves subject to strict penalties for gun-related offenses. Even relatively minor gun crimes, such as illegal possession of handguns and possession of weapons during the commission of a criminal offense, can lead to severe sanctions. A Mount Pleasant gun lawyer may be able to advise you of your rights when facing gun-related charges and protect those rights throughout any criminal proceedings. Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible following an arrest.

Gun Offenses in Mount Pleasant

South Carolina law establishes a wide variety of gun-related criminal offenses. Some of the most common charges include:

  • Possession of illegal weapons
  • Unlawful possession of firearm ammunition
  • Possession of weapons on school grounds
  • Possession of firearms in the commission of serious crimes or for illicit purposes

Many factors play into the severity a gun charge, including prior criminal history, previous convictions for gun offenses, the danger posed to others by the possession of the gun, the type of weapon involved, and the location at which the offense occurred. For instance, the commission of a gun-related crime near or on the grounds of a school can result in more severe penalties than one in a private home.

Legal Restrictions on Carrying Handguns

Although most persons do not have concealed carry permits, there are nonetheless many ways that individuals legally can carry firearms under South Carolina Code § 16-23-20 without the necessity of a license. For instance, individuals may possess firearms legally in their vehicles so long as they are in closed glove compartments, consoles, trunks, or other sealed containers.

Individuals may also transport firearms in a vehicle or on foot while fishing or hunting, or while traveling to and from these activities. It is also legal for individuals to possess firearms in their homes and businesses, or in homes in which they have the permission of the homeowners. Exemptions also exist for members of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and authorized guards, such as correctional officers in the course of their official duties.

Locations Where Firearms Are Prohibited

South Carolina, like most other states, has established laws governing where individuals may possess firearms, regardless as to whether they possess concealed carry permits. Individuals may not possess firearms in any of the following locations, among others:

  • Police stations, sheriff departments, and other law enforcement facilities
  • Courthouses and courtrooms
  • Schools or at school athletic events not related to firearms
  • Offices, except if the head of the facility has granted individuals permission to do so

Other locations that prohibit the presence of firearms include jails and detention centers, polling places during elections, churches (unless permitted by the head of the facility), and daycare facilities and preschools. If you are found in possession of firearm in any of these locations, you may wish to contact an attorney.

Call a Mount Pleasant Gun Attorney for Legal Representation

The penalties for violating South Carolina gun laws may be severe and harm your ability to possess firearms in the future. As a result, you may wish to contact legal counsel for guidance about your rights and responsibilities as an individual who possesses or owns firearms. If you are facing charges, a Mount Pleasant gun lawyer could analyze the specifics of your case and build an effective defense. Reach out today.