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Conway Criminal Law Blog

What Are Gun Charges in SC

South Carolina is one of the most gun-friendly states in the country. There are no overly restrictive laws against the ownership and usage of most firearms in SC. However, it is illegal to own, carry, or use certain firearms, and you must get a permit to carry handguns. The majority of the gun laws in SC are confusing, which may result in gun charges due to unlawful possession or ownership.

Additionally, carrying or using a gun in the commission of a crime can easily make the penalties of that crime more severe. It is also crucial to note that the state will aggressively prosecute offenders who have violated the gun laws.

What You Should Know About Gun Charges in SC

Illegal gun possession can either be actual or constructive possession. The specific possession charge you may face will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. You may be charged with constructive possession when you have control of the gun, even if it’s not on your person or vehicle. You may be charged with actual possession when you have the gun on your person or your vehicle.

In SC, the most common gun charge is unlawful carry of a handgun because it usually occurs during traffic stops. In such cases, you can be charged with this offense if the police pull you over and find that you have a gun in your vehicle, but you don’t have a license for it or store your gun in a manner that violates the law. Unlawfully discharging a gun in a dwelling is another common gun charge. Depending on the situation, you can be charged with this offense even if you did not necessarily discharge your gun with the intent to hurt another person.

Conspiring to violate firearm laws is another common gun charge in SC. It occurs when the prosecution has evidence to prove that two or more people have prepared, discussed, or planned to commit an offense involving firearms. The conspiracy is usually for a violent crime, theft, terrorism, or drug offense.

In addition, it is common for people to face gun charges on top of other criminal charges. In violent crimes involving a firearm, the prosecution will add a gun charge to the crime allegedly committed. For instance, if you used a gun when committing theft, you could face a robbery charge and a gun charge. The same goes if a gun was involved in a domestic violence incident or if a person was carrying a gun when the police arrested them for a drug offense.

Facing a gun charge in SC? Working with a seasoned South Carolina criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between securing the best possible outcome for your case, which can include the dismissal of your charges, reduced charges and penalties, or a favorable plea bargain and facing severe criminal charges and penalties. Call The Law Office of Brad C. Richardson or complete our online form to schedule your free case evaluation with our SC criminal defense lawyer.