'Boland Bill' goes into effect

Law keeping the mentally ill from buying a gun goes into effect Thursday
Published: Jul. 31, 2013 at 11:11 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The legislation known as the "Boland Bill" officially went into effect Thursday.

The new law states it is illegal for a person judged as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution to ship, transport, posses or receive a firearm or ammunition.

The bill is named for Alice Boland, who police say tried to fire a loaded gun at school officials at Ashley Hall School in downtown Charleston in early February.

Under the new law, if a South Carolina court declares a person as mentally ill, their information will be put into a federal database. The information will then appear in a federal background check done anywhere in the country.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will work with the court in developing procedures for collecting and submitting all of the information.

"We're not fooled into thinking that we're going to take guns out of all the hands of people by doing this," said Rep. Leon Stavrinakis."But it is a step that we had to take and needed to take to try to ensure safety here in our community."

Gun dealers breaking the new law could face severe state and federal charges.

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