House Bill 4494 Signed into Law By The  Governor on June 29, 2012

This Bill was written by NRA-ILA and was supported by Gun Owners of South Carolina and introduced by State Representatives Chip Huggins, Deborah Long, and Mike Pitts.

A special thanks and appreciation goes out to NRA-ILA representative Anthony Roulette for his tireless efforts in assuring the passage of this bill.

The original was H 3665 ( which included the restaurant carry section) and died in the final days in the Legislative Session due to the objection of two Senators. We were able to salvage parts of H 3665 by recalling H 4494 from the Judiciary Committee and amending it with the repeal of Section 23-31-10, Article 3. Even though were were unable to salvage the restaurant carry portion of the bill.      

The Governor signed House Bill 4494 into Law on June 29, 2012. Article 3, of Section 23-31-10 was repealed. A copy of it is listed below so you will know what has been repealed in the law.              

The original House Bill 4494 was introduced to allow the purchase of a long gun (rifle, shotgun) in a non-contiguous state. 

                                                                                                           ARTICLE 3. 

                                                     REGULATION OF PISTOLS 

SECTION 23-31-110. Definitions. When used in this article: (a) "Pistol" means any firearm designed to expel a projectile and designed to be fired from the hand, but shall not include any firearm generally recognized or classified as an antique, curiosity, or collector's item, or any that does not fire fixed cartridges. (b) The term "dealer" means any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at retail or any person who is a pawnbroker. (c) The term "crime of violence" means murder, manslaughter (except negligent manslaughter arising out of traffic accidents), rape, mayhem, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, housebreaking, assault with intent to kill, commit rape, or rob, assault with a dangerous weapon, or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. (d) The term "fugitive from justice" means any person who has fled from or is fleeing from any law enforcement officer to avoid prosecution or imprisonment for a crime of violence. (e) The term "subversive organization" means any group, committee, club, league, society, association or combination of individuals the purpose of which, or one of the purposes of which, is the establishment, control, conduct, seizure or overthrow of the government of the United States or any state or political subdivision thereof, by the use of force, violence, espionage, sabotage, or threats or attempts of any of the foregoing. (f) The term "conviction" as used herein shall include pleas of guilty, pleas of nolo contendere and forfeiture of bail. (g) The term "division" shall mean the State Law Enforcement Division. (h) The terms "purchase" or "sell" mean to knowingly buy, offer to buy, receive, lease, rent, barter, exchange, pawn or accept in pawn. (i) The term "person" shall mean any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society or joint stock company. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129; 1965 (54) 578; 1975 (59) 582; 1976 Act No. 685, Sections 1-3. 

SECTION 23-31-130. Retail dealers shall be licensed. No retail dealer shall sell or otherwise transfer, or expose for sale or transfer, or have in his possession with intent to sell, or otherwise transfer, any pistol without being licensed as hereinafter provided. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.3; 1965 (54) 578. 

SECTION 23-31-140. Purchase of pistol; residency requirement; driver's license as proof; exceptions. (A) A person may not purchase a pistol from a dealer unless he is a resident of this State. For the purpose of this article, the possession of a valid South Carolina driver's license or Department of Motor Vehicles identification card constitutes proof of residency. However, residency is not required of a person who is on active duty in the United States military and who is in possession of a current United States military identification card. (B) For purposes of this section, the purchase of a pistol does not include the redeeming of a pistol by its owner after it has been pledged to secure a loan. HISTORY: 1975 (59) 582; 1988 Act No. 492, Section 3; 1992 Act No. 305, Sections 1, 2; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 360; 1996 Act No. 459, Section 49; 2004 Act No. 242, Section 1; 2005 Act No. 169, Section 1. 

SECTION 23-31-150. Issuance, duration, conditions and forfeiture of retail dealer's license. The division shall grant a license to any person doing business in the State not ineligible to purchase, acquire, or possess a pistol or be licensed as a dealer under the provisions of this article. Licenses shall be issued on a form furnished by the division and be effective for two years from the date of issuance. Licensees shall be authorized to sell pistols at retail as dealers within this State subject to the following conditions, for breach of any of which the license shall be forfeited: (a) The license or a copy thereof, authenticated by the issuing authority, shall at all times and places of sale be available for inspection or displayed where it can easily be read. (b) No pistol shall knowingly be sold in violation of any provision of this article nor shall any pistol be sold without clear evidence as to the identity of the purchaser being furnished to the dealer. (c) The fee for the issuance of such license shall be one hundred dollars and for renewal one hundred dollars every two years. The license fees shall be retained by the division for purposes of defraying the costs of administering the provisions of this article. (d) Each applicant for a license shall post with the division a bond in favor of the State with surety in the amount of ten thousand dollars. No bond shall be accepted for filing unless it is with a surety company authorized to do business in this State and conditioned that the principal named therein shall not do any act meriting suspension or revocation of his license under provisions of this article. In lieu of a bond, a cash deposit or a deposit of other securities acceptable to the division of a value of ten thousand dollars shall be accepted. Any person aggrieved by any act of the principal named in such bond may in an action against the principal or surety therein, or both, recover damages. The aggregate liability of the surety for all breaches of the conditions of the bond shall, in no event, exceed the amount of such bond. The surety on the bond shall have the right to cancel such bond giving thirty days' notice to the division and thereafter shall be relieved of liability for any breach of condition after the effective date of the cancellation. (e) In order to insure compliance with the provisions of this article, dealers shall make available for inspection by the chief of the division or his agents, during normal business hours, all pistols in their possession. 

(f) Each applicant for a license shall furnish to the division a current federal firearms license and is required to maintain that federal firearms license in good standing as a condition of holding a retail dealer license issued under this section. (g) A breach of any of the above conditions or violations of any provisions of this article by a dealer shall result in forfeiture of license, but the licensee is entitled to reasonable notice and proper hearing in the circuit court of the county in which he is licensed. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.4; 1965 (54) 578; 1975 (59) 582; 1976 Act No. 685, Sections 5, 6; 1986 Act No. 433, Section 1; 2005 Act No. 169, Section 2. 

SECTION 23-31-160. Giving false information or evidence. No person shall give false information or evidence regarding any information or evidence required herein. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.5; 1965 (54) 578; 1976 Act No. 685, Section 7. 

SECTION 23-31-170. Mortgage, deposit or pledge of pistol. Only a licensed dealer shall make a loan secured by a mortgage, deposit or pledge of a pistol and the dealer shall keep such records as are required herein. A licensed dealer may mortgage any pistol or stock of pistols but shall not deposit the same with any other person. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.6; 1965 (54) 578. 

SECTION 23-31-180. Certain pistols declared to be contraband; forfeiture, seizure, and destruction; disposal restrictions; use for display. No licensed retail dealer may hold, store, handle, sell, offer for sale, or otherwise possess in his place of business a pistol or other handgun which has a die-cast, metal alloy frame or receiver which melts at a temperature of less than eight hundred degrees Fahrenheit. A pistol or other handgun possessed or sold by a dealer in violation of this article is declared to be contraband and must be forfeited to or seized by the law enforcement agency in the municipality where forfeited or seized or to the law enforcement agency in the county where forfeited or seized if forfeited or seized outside a municipality. The weapon must be destroyed by the law enforcement agency which seized the weapon or the law enforcement agency to which the weapon is forfeited. A weapon must not be disposed of in any manner until the results of any legal proceeding in which it may be involved are finally determined. However, a law enforcement agency may use the weapon for display purposes after the weapon has been rendered inoperable. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.6:1; 1973 (58) 733; 1975 (59) 578; 1986 Act No. 532, Section 8; 1989 Act No. 172, Section 2; 1990 Act No. 556, Section 1; 1998 Act No. 297,Section 3. 

SECTION 23-31-190. Penalties; disposition of fines; forfeiture and disposition of pistols. A person, including a dealer who violates the provisions of this article is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. In addition to the penalty provided in this section the pistol involved in the violation must be confiscated. The pistol must be delivered to the chief of police of the municipality or to the sheriff of the county, if the violation occurred outside the corporate limits of a municipality. The law enforcement agencies that receive the confiscated pistols may use them within their department, transfer them to another law enforcement agency, or destroy them. Records must be kept of all confiscated pistols received by the law enforcement agencies under the provisions of this article. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.7; 1965 (54) 578; 1975 (59) 582; 1993 Act No. 184, Section 198; 1996 Act No. 292, Section 5. 

SECTION 23-31-200. Construction. Provisions of this article shall not be construed to grant any additional police powers not authorized by law, nor in any manner affect the powers of constables commissioned by the Governor. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 16-129.8; 1974 (58) 2871.  

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