COLUMBIA, S.C. (SCRN/WVOC) - South Carolina continues to rank atop the list for states for the rate of violence against women and now lawmakers will be asked to toughen the penalties on domestic violence offenders.

Bamberg County State Representative Bakari Sellers is introducing legislation that would increase the penalty for first-time domestic violence from 30 days to six months.

“We need stiffer punishment so maybe people will...take an extra step to keep themselves out of these positions,” Sellers told the South Carolina Radio Network.

It's not a silver bullet.  My bill's not perfect.  It's not going to stop everything.  But we have to do something.”

If approved, the measure would also take away gun rights for those convicted the first time for domestic violence and require them to undergo counseling.