WASHINGTON, DC (WCSC) - Vice President Joe Biden referred to a 2013 Charleston incident involving a woman with a gun in as justification of one part of President Barack Obama's steps to tighten federal gun control regulations.
The incident involved Alice Boland, a then-28-year-old who was indicted on multiple charges after authorities said Boland tried to fire a loaded gun at school officials at Ashley Hall School in downtown Charleston in early February of 2013.
"Alice Boland ought to not be able to buy a gun," Biden said. "Think about this: All we're talking about is being rational. Does anyone in South Carolina think that someone who purchased a gun, said they were going to use it to try to kill the president had it dismissed on the grounds that she's insane, does it make any sense, does it make any sense for that person to buy a gun?"
The mental health component of the executive actions aims at making sure people with a history of mental illness are documented in the Social Security database, so that they aren't able to buy a gun.
Obama announced executive orders Tuesday meant to toughen gun control after a series of mass shootings and gun violence.
By expanding background checks and pushing to hire more ATF agents, developing smart technology for weapons and spending $500 million dollars on mental health, the White House hopes to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
However, there are those who feel this administration is instead targeting law abiding citizens.
"Keep in mind that every 12 hours someone is shot in Charleston," Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett said. "The fact of the matter is we have to do whatever we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them while protecting the rights of the law abiding citizens. There's nothing in what the president announced yesterday that takes away any rights from law abiding citizens. What it does is keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them."
Jarrett also said the plan would not affect private citizens looking to pass down or sell their weapons to someone else. It's aimed at gun retailers or sellers and closing loopholes that allow some to skirt that designation, she said.
Parts of the presidents actions cannot be completed without congressional approval, such as the $200 million in funding he requested to add more ATF agents. The White House admits these proposals aren't the be-all end-all to gun violence, but calls them a step in the right direction.
In 2013, Gov. Nikki Haley signed the Alice Boland Bill into law, which beefs up background checks in South Carolina. The bill keeps information on a person declared mentally ill on file so that if the person is trying to buy a gun, that information appears anywhere in the country.
Biden made the comments to Raphael James Wednesday afternoon. Live 5 News was one of only five television stations nationwide invited to the White House to discuss the president's plan for gun safety. The administration chose the Charleston station because of the impact of the shooting deaths of nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June.