From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

On Wednesday the U.S. Judiciary Committee listened to renewed legislation that aims at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and expanding the law to include dating-partners and people with restraining orders or stalkers.

In South Carolina the number of women murdered by men more than doubles the national average.

"When an abuser has a gun, victims will tell me, 'Sheriff its not if he will use that weapon against me it's a matter of when," said a Sheriff from Racine County, WI.

Currently, South Carolina ranks number one in the nation for women murdered by men.

At My Sister's House, a shelter for domestic violence victims, expanding restriction for abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers would provide better protection for the women who walk through their door. 

"Any laws that would be stiffer and the penalties are stiffer would make a difference in that hopefully it would keep the perpetrators in prison or jail longer," Elmire Raven said, she is the executive director of the shelter.

Several legislators at the hearing said they wanted a no-tolerance attitude toward these crimes.

"In most states somebody subject to a temporary restraining order can loose access to his house, to his children, to his car but under federal law he can still keep his guns," Senator Richard Blumenthal said.

According to the Violence Policy Center, 61 women were murdered by men in South Carolina in 2011. Here in the Lowcountry their statistics show that one woman was murdered in Charleston County, one in Berkeley, and none in Dorchester County were reported as homicides as a result of domestic violence.

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