By JEFFREY COLLINS
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says she will sign a bill that increases penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders in South Carolina and bans batterers from having guns.
The governor's office plans a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Thursday to sign the bill into law. She plans to be surrounded by lawmakers and people fighting domestic violence.
The bill changes the current system where punishment for domestic violence is based on the number of offenses. The bill punishes abusers based on the severity of the attack, the number of prior offenses and other factors, like whether the victim was strangled, is pregnant or children saw the abuse.
The proposal also provides a lifetime gun ban for the worst abusers and has an automatic three- or 10-year ban in other cases.