Lawmaker: Put mentally disturbed people in criminal database - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Lawmaker: Put mentally disturbed people in criminal database

Rep. Stavrinakis at Ashley Hall Rep. Stavrinakis at Ashley Hall
Rep. Stavrinakis and Alice Boland. Rep. Stavrinakis and Alice Boland.

A state lawmaker is calling for legislation requiring the names of mentally disturbed people be put into a national criminal database used by gun dealers to run background checks.

The bill co-sponsored by Charleston Representative Leon Stavrinakis and others is in response to an incident that happened Feb. 4 at Ashley Hall School in downtown Charleston. Charleston police say Alice Boland brought a loaded gun to the school and tried to kill two school officials, but she didn't know how to fire the weapon.

She was able to legally buy the gun because her name and history of mental illness were not in the database.

"We cannot afford to wait around for this to happen again and for us not to be so lucky next time," Stavrinakis said.

Some Ashley Hall parents gathered at the school Monday to show their support for the bill.

"Certainly, I don't think there's anyone who has disagreed with us, that people in her situation, with her issues and court documented issues should not have a gun," said parent Anna Murray.

One of the parents who spoke was in the pickup line when Boland allegedly pulled out the gun.

She said several things ran through her mind.

"Are my windows bulletproof? Should I pull away and if I pull away, who's behind me that may pull up and get her attention?," recalled Catherine Poston.

Stavrinakis has a niece who attends Ashley Hall, and he said he heard an earful after the gun incident at the school.

He is hoping the bill will become law this year.

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