1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2006 Regular Session


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Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses


SECTION 16-8-10. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Bacteriological weapon" and "biological weapon" mean devices which are designed in a manner as to permit the intentional release into the population or environment of microbiological or other biological materials, toxins, or agents, whatever their origin or method of production, in a manner not authorized by law, or any device, the development, production, or stockpiling of which is prohibited pursuant to the "Convention of the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and their Destruction", 26 U.S.T. 583, TIAS 8063.

(2) "Bomb" includes a destructive device capable of being detonated, triggered, or set off to release any substance or material that is destructive, irritating, odoriferous, or otherwise harmful to one or more organisms including, but not limited to, human beings, livestock, animals, crops or vegetation, or to earth, air, water, or any other material or substance necessary or required to sustain human or any other individual form of life, or to real or personal property.

(3) "Civil disorder" means a public disturbance involving acts of violence by three or more persons which causes an immediate danger of or results in damage or injury to another person or his property.

(4) "Destructive device" means:

(a) a bomb, incendiary device, or any thing that can detonate, explode, be released, or burn by mechanical, chemical, or nuclear means, or that contains an explosive, incendiary, poisonous gas, or toxic substance (chemical, biological, or nuclear materials) including, but not limited to, an incendiary or over-pressure device, or any other device capable of causing damage, injury, or death;

(b) a bacteriological weapon or biological weapon; or

(c) a combination of any parts, components, chemical compounds, or other substances, either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device which has been or can be assembled to cause damage, injury, or death.

(5) "Device" means an object, contrivance, instrument, technique, or means that is designed, manufactured, assembled, or capable of serving any purpose in a bomb, destructive device, explosive, incendiary, or weapon of mass destruction.

(6) "Explosive" means a chemical compound or other substance or a mechanical system intended for the purpose of producing an explosion capable of causing injury, death, or damage to property or one containing oxidizing and combustible units or other ingredients in such proportions or quantities that ignition, fire, friction, concussion, percussion, or detonation may produce an explosion capable of causing injury, death, or damage to property. Explosives include, but are not limited to, the list of explosive materials published and periodically updated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

(7) "Firearm" means a weapon which is designed to or readily may be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or the frame or receiver of that weapon.

(8) "Incendiary" means any material that:

(a) causes, or is capable of causing, fire when it is lit or ignited; and

(b) is used to ignite a flammable liquid or compound in an unlawful manner.

(9) "Incendiary device" means a destructive device, however possessed or delivered, and by whatever name called, containing or holding a flammable liquid or compound, which is capable of being ignited by any means possible. Incendiary device includes, but is not limited to, any form of explosive, explosive bomb, grenade, missile, or similar device, whether capable of being carried or thrown by a person acting alone or with one or more persons, but does not include a device manufactured or produced for the primary purpose of illumination or for marking detours, obstructions, defective paving, or other hazards on streets, roads, highways, or bridges, when used in a lawful manner.

(10) "Law enforcement officer" means:

(a) an officer or employee of the United States, a state, political subdivision of a state, or the District of Columbia, who is authorized to enforce laws and is acting within his official capacity;

(b) members of the National Guard;

(c) members of the organized militia of a state or territory;

(d) members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(11) "Over-pressure device" means a container filled with an explosive gas or expanding gas or liquid which is designed or constructed so as to cause the container to break, fracture, or rupture in such a manner which is capable of causing death, bodily harm, or property damage, and includes, but is not limited to, a chemical reaction bomb, an acid bomb, a caustic bomb, or a dry ice bomb.

(12) "Parts" means a combination of parts, components, chemical compounds, or other substances, designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device.

(13) "Poisonous gases" means a toxic chemical or its precursors that through its chemical action or properties on life processes, causes death or injury to human beings or other living organisms. Poisonous gases do not include:

(a) riot control agents, smoke and obscuration materials, or medical products which are manufactured, possessed, transported, or used in accordance with the laws of this State or the United States;

(b) tear gas devices designed to be carried on or about the person which contain not more than fifty cubic centimeters of the chemical; or

(c) pesticides, as used in agriculture and household products.

(14) "Weapon of mass destruction" means:

(a) any destructive device as defined in item (4);

(b) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;

(c) any weapon involving a disease organism; or

(d) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.

SECTION 16-8-20. Teaching or demonstrating use of or making of destructive device; penalties.

(A) A person may not:

(1) teach or demonstrate to another person the use, application, or making of a firearm or destructive device which is capable of causing injury or death if the person knows, has reason to know, or intends that what is taught or demonstrated will be employed unlawfully for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; nor

(2) assemble with one or more persons for the purpose of training, practicing, or instructing in the use of a firearm or destructive device which is capable of causing injury or death to persons if the training, practice, or instruction is used in furtherance of an unlawful purpose or a civil disorder.

(B) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction:

(1) for a first offense must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both;

(2) for a second or subsequent offense must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both.

SECTION 16-8-30. Exceptions.

Nothing contained in this chapter prohibits:

(1) an act of a law enforcement officer performed within his official capacity;

(2) training for law enforcement officers conducted by or for an agency or a political subdivision of a state or an agency of the United States;

(3) activities of the National Guard or of the armed forces of the United States; or

(4) classes intended to teach the safe handling of legal firearms for hunting, recreation, competition, or self-defense.

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