House passes 'Boland bill' to keep guns from mentally ill

Alice Boland
Alice Boland

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina House unanimously approved a bill designed to prevent residents deemed mentally ill from buying guns.

The measure approved 112-0 on Tuesday ensures the names of those determined mentally insane by a South Carolina court are put into a federal database for purposes of background checks for gun purchases.

The vote comes two months after what authorities say was a botched shooting by 28-year-old Alice Boland at Ashley Hall in downtown Charleston drew attention to a reporting loophole.

The bill requires another vote in the House. A similar bill is up for debate in the Senate.

It's already illegal to sell guns to the mentally ill. But the lack of reporting means gun shops don't get that information when they run a check.

Advocates call it a public safety bill that doesn't infringe on gun rights.

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