COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Legislature appears poised to pass a bill aimed at stemming South Carolina's persistently high rates of domestic violence, following weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the House and Senate.
The House unanimously approved a compromise Wednesday that creates tiered penalties for batterers and bans some of them from having guns.
Lawmakers in both chambers and parties called domestic violence a priority for the session. But progress stalled over disagreements on the details, including the gun provision.
The compromise provides a lifetime gun ban for the worst abusers. It sets up an automatic three- or 10-year ban in other cases and gives the judge discretion on the lowest offenses. However, no guns would be confiscated. Legislators say the provision sends abusers a message.
The Senate passed its version March 3.
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