SC Senate Rejects Removal of Gun Ban from Domestic Violence Bill
The South Carolina Senate rejected efforts to remove the gun ban from an anti-domestic violence bill that is slowly making its way through the legislature.
Sen. Larry Martin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the bill’s sponsor, said he was reluctant to remove the gun ban. “If that brings enough people on board to pass the bill, we may have to speak our piece on it,” he said.
During a vote on edits to the bill on Wednesday, February 18th, Senators voted 35-5 in favor of tabling Corbin’s suggestion. Guns are the weapon of choice for domestic violence murders in South Carolina, especially for repeat domestic violence offenders.
“We are not going to allow people to conjure up this notion that the Second Amendment trumps common sense,” Martin said.
The legislation creates a tiered system of punishment based on the degree of the domestic violence crime, much like DUI or homicide laws, and jail time can range from 30 days to 10 years. The bill will also prevent those convicted of criminal domestic violence from owning or purchasing a gun for 10 years.
Currently, domestic violence legislation punishes convicted offenders face a maximum sentence, for their third offense, of 5 years. In the last 10 years, more than 300 women in South Carolina have been killed by domestic violence incidents.
The new proposed bill also offers permanent no-contact orders to protect victims from criminal domestic abusers, and requires those charges with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature to attend a batterer-intervention program.
“This is one of those statistics that we wear as a badge of shame,” said Republican Sen. Greg Hembree.
Hembree added that the stereotype of big, uneducated men beating helpless women was not the only scenario for domestic violence offenders. He noted the recent murder-suicide that took place on the campus of the University of South Carolina, in which Professor Raja Fayad, was fatally shot on February 5th by his ex-wife Sunghee Kwon, who had stalked him for months leading up to the shooting.
The gun ban’s major critic was Sen. Tom Corbin, who argued that the 10-year ban for convicted domestic violence offenders would clog up the court system with paperwork.
“I want a bill that works,” said Corbin, adding that the gun ban “is going to end up causing more harm than good.”
The Strom Law Firm Helps Defend Criminal Domestic Violence Charges
As South Carolina’s domestic violence laws become tougher, it is more important than ever that you seek help if you have been charged with criminal domestic violence. In the heat of the moment, an angry spouse could call police and you could land in jail, facing serious charges that can ruin your personal and professional reputation. You could lose custody of your children, and have a permanent criminal file, which will affect your ability to apply for jobs in the future. Do not let charges for criminal domestic violence charges take away your rights. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm defend against criminal charges including domestic violence and child endangerment. We offer free, confidential consultations, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800