The following is a video transcript.
There are many mistakes a gun owner can make, but today, we’re going to discuss three of the most common mistakes that could land a gun-owner in legal trouble.
Reporting Self-Defense Incidents
The first, and most common mistake we deal with regularly, is a gun owner who does not report a self-defense incident. What should you do if you must display or fire your firearm? Road rage situations are a great example of times when people need to call the police. Gun owners need to call 911 immediately after they have displayed a firearm to defuse a road rage situation. Unfortunately, oftentimes it is only after the police have shown up at their home do they realize they have a problem. Why? Because the other driver, who brought on the situation in the first place, called the police. Don’t believe just because you have defused the situation, that will necessarily be the end of it.
If you’re ever in a situation where you must draw a weapon, even if you do not fire it, it is important you call the police first and report you are the victim of a crime and were forced to defend yourself. Quite often the first story is the one that gets the greatest credibility. Often, police act on the statement of the first person to call. If the other driver calls the police and says they were involved in a road rage incident with you, and you pulled a firearm on them, the police would show up in force, guns drawn, to arrest you. Especially if you had not called and reported the incident. They will assume you were the aggressor and believe the other party’s version of events.
If you are in a road rage situation or any self-defense incident, once safe to do so, call the police immediately and report you have been the victim of a crime.
Reminder: Never Display Your Firearm Unless…
As a side note: almost all road rage incidents can be resolved without the display or use of a firearm. You should never display your firearm unless you are in a situation where you must use it to neutralize a threat of death or great bodily injury. Pulling a gun during a road rage incident is generally a bad idea. Unless, of course, the situation escalates into a deadly-force situation.
Handgun Storage: Vehicle
Another of the most common mistakes handgun owners in South Carolina make is improperly storing their handgun in their vehicle. If you have a valid South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) or a permit from a state which South Carolina has reciprocity, that person may carry a handgun on their person, concealed, under any seat in the vehicle, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle’s passenger compartment.
A person without a valid CWP, who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, may have a loaded handgun in their vehicle while traveling through South Carolina. So long as the handgun is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral faster and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle. This law applies equally to both residents and non-residents of South Carolina.
Out-of-State Handgun Transfers
Finally, we need to discuss transferring a handgun to another person who lives out of state. Federal law prohibits the face-to-face transfer of your handgun to someone who is a resident of a different state, even if they are temporarily in your state. Unfortunately, you simply cannot legally give, sell, or in any way transfer a handgun to a resident of another state in a face-to-face transaction. Any transfer of a handgun across state lines must go through a Federal Firearms Licensee, or “FFL.” The receiver of the firearm must take possession of it from an FFL in their state.
Even though the element of surprise is great when giving gifts, in the case of handguns, it is not worth the risk. If a handgun is transferred between parties living in different states directly, both parties are guilty of a federal felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. This applies even between close family members or friends.
Following this advice will keep you from making one of these three dangerous and costly common firearm mistakes. For any other questions regarding gun laws in South Carolina and commonly made mistakes, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.