Boland Bill passes through Statehouse unanimously - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Boland Bill passes through Statehouse unanimously

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A bill that would further work to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill passed through the Statehouse unanimously on Thursday.

The bill is being referred to as the "Ashley Hall" or "Boland" bill, in reference to February of 2013 when Alice Boland, arrived at Ashley Hall School in Charleston with a gun in hand. She purchased the gun despite a history of assassination threats and documented mental health problems.

The law as already existing states that no person declared mentally handicapped is allowed to own a gun, however, the loophole is the fact that mental health status is not a factor in a background check due to confidentiality. This bill would require mental health reporting in background checks.

Representative Leon Stavrinakis considers the bill a major win, saying it is not an attempt to control guns, simply an attempt to close a loophole. "This does not create any new prohibitions on who is allowed to own a weapon. Mentally ill people are already banned from purchasing or possessing a weapon under federal law, this simply puts South Carolina in with the states that reports that information into the background checks system."

"That way if someone does what Alice Boland did, which is go into a gun shop and purchase a gun, that gun shop owner will know that this person cannot legally purchase a gun and wont sell them the gun."

The bill is now headed to the Governor's office.

 

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