COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – A new report from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division showed that weapon law violations were on the rise in 2022, even as most other categories of crime were lower across the state.

SLED said it was the ninth consecutive year the agency has seen an increase in weapon law violations.

“I continue to be extremely concerned about the gun violence we are seeing, especially among
young people,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “We cannot give up on the next generation of South

Weapons arrests among juveniles increased from 699 in 2021 to 1,008 in 2022. Arrests among adults for weapon law violations increased from 6,666 in 2021 to 7,048 in 2022.

The number of murder, sexual battery, and robbery cases in the state decreased while aggravated assaults increased. The agency said the rate of aggravated assaults has increased by 0.5%.

SLED said aggravated assaults are up more than 13% since 2018. However, sexual battery cases are at their lowest point in the last 30 years.

Violent Crime20212022Change
Sexual Battery2,6072,374-8.8%
Aggravated Assault21,82222,318+2.3%
(From: South Carolina Law Enforcement Division)

Property crimes all saw significant decreases from 2021 to 2022, even as the state’s population increased by about 1.8%.

Property Crime20212022Change
Motor Vehicle Theft15,80714,433-8.7%
(From: South Carolina Law Enforcement Division)

In the Upstate, SLED data showed that Greenwood County had the largest decrease in violent crime while Union County saw one of the biggest increases in violent crime.

Pickens County and Cherokee County saw some of the largest decreases in property crime for any county in the state.

SLED said the crime data is compiled from state and local law enforcement agencies across the state in their annual crime report.