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Bill Number: 3592 Ratification Number: 549 Act Number 492 Introducing Body: House Subject: Requirements for the purchase of a pistol
(A492, R549, H3592)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-140, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF A PISTOL, SO AS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS AND TO AUTHORIZE A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR LICENSED PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY TO PURCHASE MORE THAN ONE PISTOL DURING A THIRTY-DAY PERIOD PROVIDED CERTAIN CONDITIONS ARE MET; TO AMEND SECTION 23-31-330, RELATING TO THE APPLICATION REQUIRED FOR THE POSSESSION OF A MACHINE GUN, SAWED-OFF SHOTGUN, OR SAWED-OFF RIFLE, SO AS TO EXEMPT FROM THE PERMIT AND REGISTRATION PROCESS A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY WHICH HAS A SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF LIFE OR PROPERTY; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 23-31-195 RELATING TO THE APPLICATION FOR AND ISSUANCE OF A PISTOL COLLECTOR'S LICENSE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 23-31-195 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 2. Section 23-31-330 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 23-31-330. (A) Every person permitted by Section 23-31-320 to possess a machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle, and any person elected to or appointed to any office or position which entitles the person to possess a machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle, upon taking office, shall file with the State Law Enforcement Division on a blank to be supplied by the division on request an application which is properly sworn. The application must be approved by the sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides or has his principal place of business and include the applicant's name, residence and business address, physical description, whether or not ever charged or convicted of any crime, municipal, state, or otherwise, and where, if charged, and when it was disposed of. The applicant shall also give a description, including the serial number and make, of the machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle, which he possesses or desires to possess. The State Law Enforcement Division shall file the application in its office. The division shall register the applicant together with the information required in the application in a book or index to be kept for that purpose, assign to him a number, and issue to him a card which shall bear the signature of the applicant and which he shall keep with him while he has the machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle, in his possession. This registration must be made on the date application is received and filed with the division. The registration expires on December thirty-first of the year in which the license is issued.
(B) No permit or registration required by the provisions of this section is required where weapons are possessed by a governmental entity which has a significant public safety responsibility for the protection of life or property."
SECTION 3. Section 23-31-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 23-31-140. (A) Prior to the purchase of a pistol, the purchaser shall complete an application in triplicate in the presence of the dealer. The application to be furnished by the division must contain the applicant's (1) name;
(2) residence and business address; (3) date and place of birth; (4) social security number; (5) South Carolina driver's license number or South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation identification card number; (6) physical description; (7) fingerprint card and photograph of applicant if applicant does not have items (4) and (5); (8) a signed sworn statement by the applicant that he is not within any classification set forth in item (a), (b), (c), or (d) of Section 16-23-30, and that he has not purchased a pistol within the previous thirty days; (9) the signatures of applicant and the dealer; (10) and such other personal identifying information as may be required by the division.
(B) No person is allowed to purchase a pistol from a dealer unless he has fully completed the application.
(C) No person is allowed to purchase more than one pistol on each application and no person is allowed to purchase more than one pistol during each thirty-day period.
(D) The provisions of subsection (C) do not apply to (1) a law enforcement agency provided that the conditions of subsection (E) are met, (2) an agency duly authorized to perform law enforcement duties, (3) county and municipal penal facilities and the State Department of Corrections, (4) a private security company licensed to do business within this State, or (5) a person whose pistol is stolen or irretrievably lost and who feels that it is essential that he immediately purchase a pistol may obtain a special permit which will enable him to purchase a pistol upon his sworn affidavit to the chief of police, or his designated agent, of the municipality in which the applicant resides or if the applicant resides outside the corporate limits of a municipality, to the sheriff, or his designated agent, of the county in which the applicant resides. This affidavit must cite the facts and reasons why the applicant cannot wait for a thirty-day period to purchase a pistol. This special permit must contain such information as required by the division and must be on a form furnished by the division. The issuing officer shall retain a copy of the permit and forward a copy to the Division. The application must be signed by the dealer effecting the sale and must contain such information as may be required by the division.
(E) A law enforcement agency or a private security company licensed under the provisions of Title 40, Chapter 17, may purchase more than one pistol during a thirty-day period as long as the following conditions are met:
(1) the pistols purchased are for use in this State;
(2) ownership of the pistols is retained by the law enforcement agency or licensed security company;
(3) multiple purchases under this provision must be made on a special application form to be provided by the division;
(4) the multiple purchase form is signed by the chief of the law enforcement agency or the chief executive officer of the licensed private security company, whose name appears on the company license;
(5) the number of pistols purchased may not exceed the number of security guards registered under the provisions of Title 40, Chapter 17, and employed in this State;
(6) a letter of authorization, in triplicate, signed by the agency director, company representative, or their designees, certifying the purchaser to be a representative of the agency or company with delegated authority to purchase pistols for the agency or company. The letter of authorization must contain such information as may be required by the division.
(F) No person is allowed to 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 Highways and Public Transportation identification card constitutes proof of residency.
(G) Upon proper completion of the application the dealer shall submit the original application to the division, retain a copy for his records, and give a copy to the applicant upon his purchase of a pistol. The application to be submitted to the division must be accompanied by a firearm transaction record properly completed by the purchaser and the dealer.
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."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.