Greenville Gun Lawyer

For the most part, state law does not do much to limit the Second Amendment rights of South Carolina residents. However, there are still several important restrictions on gun ownership and public possession and failing to adhere to them could lead to you facing felony charges punishable by several years in prison.

After being charged with any offense involving the improper use, possession, or discharge of a firearm, speaking with a Greenville gun lawyer as soon as possible should be a top priority. Law enforcement takes these charges very seriously, and you will need to take yours seriously as well if you want to effectively pursue a positive case resolution. Speak to a seasoned criminal defense attorney about your rights.

How Does State Law Regulate Gun Possession?

Any Greenville resident who is at least 21 years old and has never been convicted of any violent crime can purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun without being required to get a permit, register their purchased firearms with the state, or complete a background check prior to a private sale. However, it is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines to possess, purchase, or sell any sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, or machine gun—defined under state law as a weapon that can fire more than one round with a single firing function without needing to be manually reloaded—in South Carolina, unless the possessor is an active law enforcement officer or military service member, or the weapon is inoperable and meant only for display.

Anyone who wishes to carry a handgun concealed in Greenville must first apply for and obtain a concealed weapons permit, the qualifications for which include being 21 years of age, the completion of a firearms training class, residence or property ownership in South Carolina, and at least 20/40 actual or corrected vision. Since South Carolina is a “shall issue” state, anyone who meets these criteria and applies for a concealed weapons permit will be granted such a permit once they pay the requisite application fees.

State law does not allow for any resident or non-resident to open carry a handgun, whether they possess a concealed weapons permit or not. Furthermore, there are certain locations—such as schools, churches, and courthouses—when concealed carry of a handgun is not permitted even with a permit. A Greenville gun attorney could offer further clarification about any other gun regulations that might apply to a particular case.

Stand-Your-Ground Laws in Greenville

Under South Carolina Code of Laws §16-11-440, a person with a “reasonable fear of imminent peril” due to the unlawful entry of another person onto their property has the right to defend their property and their person with lethal force and has no duty to retreat before resorting to lethal force. Importantly, this “Stand Your Ground” rule only applies if the person defending themselves has a lawful right to be where they are, is not committing any criminal offense at the time, and did not personally start the confrontation in question.

State law also allows an individual to use deadly force to protect a relative, friend, or bystander they believe to be in imminent peril due to the illegal actions of another person. The same standards regarding assumed or actual “peril” apply in this kind of scenario, as a gun lawyer in Greenville could explain in greater detail.

Speak with a Greenville Gun Attorney Today

While state law does not go to great lengths to limit who can own a firearm, it does impose some restrictions on ownership, as well as numerous restrictions on carrying a firearm outside of a private residence. If you were accused of violating any of these rules, retaining seasoned legal representation could mean the difference between a quick resolution to your charges and a permanent criminal record.

A Greenville gun lawyer could explain all your legal options and the significance of your specific charges during an initial consultation. Call today to set up yours.