System still needs names added before "Boland Bill" success can - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

System still needs names added before "Boland Bill" success can be measured

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Alice Boland in bond court Feb. 2013 Alice Boland in bond court Feb. 2013
On the one year anniversary of Alice Boland bringing a gun onto the Ashley Hall campus in downtown Charleston, lawmakers say there's still more to come with the "Boland Bill."

On Feb. 4, 2013 it became clear there were holes in laws regarding the mentally ill and gun background checks. At that time mental health was not taken into consideration when buying a gun because privacy laws didn't allow such a status to be reported to the national system.

Lawmakers of both parties called it a public safety issue that didn't infringe on any gun rights when they signed into effect the "Boland Bill."

The State Law Enforcement Division has not been able to provide how many people have been prohibited from buying a gun since the bill went into effect but Representative Leon Stavrinakis (D), who wrote the bill which went into effect in August 2013, said it will take longer to obtain an exact number.

"We want to make sure people are getting added, that's the most important thing right now. Once they're added, then that background check occurs, they will not legally be able to buy a firearm," Stavrinakis said.

The tragedy at Ashley Hall was averted because Boland had loaded the gun incorrectly.

Today, a year later, Boland remains in prison with a $900,000 bond. She's had psychiatric evaluations and is waiting on federal charges before her prosecution date can be set.

According to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson's office, " (the Federal system) will finish their prosecution or disposal of their case before we handle our charges."

Governor Nikki Haley told News 2 Monday that people like Boland should receive aggressive treatment before it gets to this point.

"It's the mental health issue that's really what's at stake here and we've got to make sure every year we continue to work on that to improve it," she said.

Stavrinakis said that Ashley Hall Director, Mary Schweers, who stood in front of the gun on campus last year is to be honored by the House of Representatives within the next month.

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