SC lawmaker proposes bill requiring gun owners to report stolen weapons

(WBTW) — State Rep. Robert Williams has prefiled a bill known as “Lizzy’s Law” that would require South Carolina gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm, rifle or shot gun.

As a first offense, upon conviction the gun owner could be fined $100. Eleven other states currently have the law in place including California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Captain Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said they have discovered two main reasons as to why people don’t report guns stolen or missing.

“A lot of times we find out the individual is A. scared because they didn’t finish the proper paperwork, or B. they’re embarrassed because they left it out in plain view where it shouldn’t of been,” Crosby said.

Melissa Macdonald, a personal property and casualty agent with Southern Coast Insurance Group, said not every gun owner wants to go through the requirements to get their firearm insured, but she said there’s a common myth that rates will go up if you do, and you file it as stolen or lost.

“You have to have proof of purchase, photographs, serial numbers, an appraisal,” Macdonald said. “Your insurance will not increase if your firearm is stolen.”

707 gun shop owner Robert Batista said he doesn’t think the proposed law will do any good in preventing guns from getting in the wrong hands.

“The only person I see not reporting a gun stolen is someone who A. got it under dubious circumstances, or B. shouldn’t be in the possession.. and so passing another law isn’t going to make them, you know, because they are going to incriminate themselves by reporting it stolen.” Battista said.

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