Although you have a constitutional right to bear arms, this may offer limited comfort if you are facing a criminal weapons charge. If you find yourself expressing serious concern over the allegations against you, you should remember that the law presumes your innocence, and the government—local, state, or federal—bears the responsibility for proving you are guilty before it can convict you of a crime.

If you are charged with violating a firearm law, you can look to a North Charleston gun lawyer to address your questions and concerns. Complicated or serious charges warrant the help of an attorney who understands your circumstances and how to navigate your legal obstacles. Speaking with a legal professional who can provide useful information and advice may better alleviate your stress than bearing the burden alone and hoping for the best.

Permissible Carrying of Handguns

South Carolina does not allow the open carry of a firearm. Per §23-31-205 through 240 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, the Law Abiding Citizens Self-Defense Act of 1996 anyone less than 21 years of age or otherwise prohibited by law to apply for a permit is not allowed to carry a concealed handgun. The applicant must prove that they have completed proper safety training and provide fingerprints, identification, residence information, and a $50 fee.

An individual may appeal a denial of their application. Once issued a permit, they must carry a permit ID card whenever carrying a concealed weapon. If a person has been charged with carrying a handgun without a permit, carrying an illegal weapon, or using a firearm unlawfully, they should speak with a North Charleston gun attorney for advice regarding how they might avoid a conviction or seek a reduced charge.

Prohibited Weapons in North Charleston

Under §23-31-310 through 370 of the South Carolina Code, the state limits the possession of machine guns, automatic weapons, or sawed-off shotguns and rifles to people:

  • Holding certain public offices
  • Members of the military
  • Police and law enforcement officers
  • Officials in detention facilities
  • Others authorized by law to carry them

Owning such firearms may be acceptable if they are antiques or displayed as relics and harmless. In these cases, firearm owners must supply a sworn application on request with the State Law Enforcement Division except in the case of a government entity responsible for maintaining public safety.

Penalties for Unlawful Firearm Possession

Anyone who possesses a machine gun or a sawed-off shotgun or rifle unlawfully in South Carolina faces a felony imposing a fine of up to 10,000 dollars, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both. Counties, municipalities, or other subdivisions of the state may not regulate the owning, carrying, or transferring a firearm. Conviction of a firearm offense can have serious repercussions, and if an individual is confronting a charge, they should discuss potential strategies for avoiding them by speaking with a local firearm representative.

Speak with a North Charleston Gun Attorney Who Understands the Local Firearms Laws

Everyone knows that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. It is also fairly common knowledge that government at the local, state, and federal levels place numerous restrictions on that right. However, those restrictions, how courts interpret them, and the penalties imposed for violating them can be complex to firearm holders.

For this reason, if you have been charged with a gun violation at any level, you have good reason to seek the counsel of a professional familiar with the gun laws of the region. Arrange a consultation with a North Charleston gun lawyer to discuss the charges you face and your potential for avoiding or otherwise mitigating the consequences of a conviction.