Domestic Violence Bill Discussed in SC Senate

Domestic Violence Prevention Bill Discussed by SC Senators

domestic violenceSouth Carolina state Senator Larry Martin, R-Pickens, proposed a domestic violence prevention bill that seeks to classify domestic violence offenders in different degrees of severity, similar to assault charges, and would also ban convicted domestic violence abusers from owning guns for a period of time after their conviction.

“The idea, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a sensible proposal to eliminate opportunity to continue domestic violence that escalates to death,” Martin said.

South Carolina has, for many years, consistently ranked highest in the country for number of women killed by domestic violence.  In the past decade, 300 women have been killed at the hands of domestic abusers, which is about one woman every 12 days in the state. Guns are, statistically, the weapon of choice for men who kill their partners in domestic violence situations, and now South Carolina’s lawmakers are examining tougher laws to prevent this type of homicide.

“We take their weapon. We take their vehicle. We take their license to hunt,” Victims advocate Laura Hudson said on Wednesday, January 7th, of illegal hunters. “And that doesn’t even up in my mind, about how we treat people who are harming women or women that are shooting men.”

If Martin’s proposal becomes law, then domestic violence will become a harsher crime in the state, and that means that people convicted on domestic violence charges will be criminals, and federally barred from owning or using weapons.

The proposed ban on owning or using guns will expire 10 years after the criminal domestic violence conviction, according to the proposal. Opponents of the legislation fear the state’s encroachment onto 2nd Amendment rights.

“I don’t want to create this … totally unreasonable burden for law enforcement,” said state Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry, a former prosecutor. He pointed out that the specifics of taking convicts’ weapons is not clearly laid out in the bill.

Meanwhile, the Charleston Post and Courier is teaming up with WCIV-TV to host a town hall forum regarding South Carolina’s current and proposed domestic violence laws at the College of Charleston, Sottie Hall, on Tuesday, January 13th.

Attorney General Alan Wilson has pushed for domestic violence law reform in the state for some time, and supports the bill. “Domestic violence is one of my top priorities in the first few weeks of the General Assembly,” Wilson said. “It’s just something that I’m going to work tirelessly on.”

The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes Criminals On Behalf of Domestic Violence and Murder Victims

If you, or a loved one, are the victims of a serious crime, including domestic violence, assault, robbery, or murder, it is important that you take the person who hurt you to court – whether it is a criminal trial, or personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have been based in Columbia, SC for 16 years, and are also licensed to practice in Georgia and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us for help. 803.252.4800.

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