Gun and Weapon Charges

firearms and ammunitionAttorneys Peter Brown and Donald Sorenson have cumulatively been handling gun and weapon charges in South Carolina for over sixty (60) years.

As one of the most experienced teams in the Lowcountry, we can work towards getting you the best result possible for your gun or weapon charges. The Law Office of Peter David Brown, P.A. has frequently been retained to handle numerous gun and weapon cases. Attorney Donald Sorenson was a former assistant solicitor (prosecutor) for twenty-five (25) years and has handled hundreds of negotiations involving guns. This experience is invaluable for our clients, as Don knows exactly what can be done to help with gun charges.

In South Carolina there are numerous statutes that limit who and where a person may possess a firearm and even ammunition. The general rule is that a person under the age of 18 may not possess a handgun.

Below is a list of South Carolina Statutes that pertain to the possession of firearms and ammunition.

S.C. Code Section 16-23-20

It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not.

Common Exceptions:

A person in his own home or property or who has the permission of the owner or person in legal possession or control of the home or real property.

A person in a vehicle if the handgun is:

Secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle, OR

Concealed on or about the person, and he has a valid concealed weapons permit (CWP).

Carries up to One (1) year in prison.

S.C. Code Section 16-23-500

  • Applies to all firearms (handguns, shotguns and rifles), along with ammunition.
  • Violent crimes are defined in S.C. Code Section 16-1-60. Note this list is similar but different that the definition of Crimes of Violence.
  • Carries up to Five (5) years in prison.

S.C. Code Section 23-31-400

It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to use a firearm in South Carolina.

  • It does not apply to persons lawfully defending themselves or their property.
  • Person may be subjected to a SLED-approved breath or urine test.
  • Carries a fine of not less than $2,000 or imprisonment of not more than two (2) years

S.C. Code Section 16-23-30

Provides for additional circumstances where a person may not possess a handgun, as follows:

  • If a person has been convicted of a Crime of Violence (as defined in S.C. Code Section 16-23-10 (3), is a fugitive from justice, is a habitual drunkard or drug addict, or has been adjudicated mentally incompetent;
  • Is a member of a subversive organization;
  • Is under the age of eighteen (18); or
  • A person who has been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm by a circuit court or county court judge.
  • A person shall not knowingly buy, sell or possess any stolen handgun or one with the serial number removed or obliterated.
  • Carries up to Five (5) years in prison.

Many municipalities have ordinances prohibiting the discharge of a firearm within city limits. The penalty for these will depend on the particular municipality.

It is important to understand that there are also separate Federal Statutes that prohibit the possession of a firearm or ammunition. Specifically, if a person has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, or of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year they may be prohibited under Federal law from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm or ammunition.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun or weapons offense, give our legal team a call. Let our experience work for you!