As the South Carolina legislature convenes for their 2023 legislative session, lawmakers have the opportunity to stand up for gun safety. Permitless carry legislation loomed large in 2022, threatening to dismantle South Carolina’s handgun permitting process, the state’s only foundational gun safety policy but tireless advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers held the line against the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda. Because of its weak gun laws, South Carolina is facing an extreme gun violence problem, with the fifth highest rate of gun homicide by state. This session, lawmakers have an opportunity to change the narrative of gun violence in South Carolina by blocking dangerous policies like permitless carry, and taking proactive steps to save lives by funding critical community violence intervention programs.
Community violence intervention leaders in Charleston like Turning the Tide Violence Intervention Program will play a crucial role in addressing the state’s gun violence crisis. With increased funding for the hospital-based violence intervention program and other peer-to-peer programs, the legislature can extend an immediate and flexible lifeline to ensure their continuity as Turn the Tide scales their efforts to meet the urgent need in North Charleston and greater South Carolina.
South Carolina Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers will continue to hold lawmakers accountable for their action, or lack thereof, on gun safety this session, supporting the chief goal of passing foundational gun safety laws that will save lives.
Here’s what you need to know about gun violence in South Carolina:
- In an average year, 964 people die by guns in South Carolina
- With a rate of 18.9 deaths per 100,000 people, South Carolina has the 10th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US.
- 55% of gun deaths in South Carolina are by firearm suicide, which constitutes an average of 529 deaths per year
- Gun violence costs South Carolina $14.0 billion each year, of which $371.9 million is paid by taxpayers.
If you have any questions, or would like to request an interview with a volunteer from South Carolina Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action please don’t hesitate to reach out.