SC gun background checks to get boost from fed money

cwinston@thestate.comSeptember 6, 2013 

— The federal government will spend nearly $1 million to improve background checks for South Carolina gun purchases.

The Department of Justice has awarded the State Law Enforcement Division a grant of more than $900,000, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced Friday, to improve the National Criminal Background Check System. NICS is used to verify who is eligible to purchase a firearm.

Several recent events, including one in Charleston, have highlighted communication problems between the NICS system and mental health information. Alice Boland was charged in February of attempted murder after a failed attempt to shoot two employees at Ashley Hall, an all-girls prep school in Charleston. She had been found mentally ill but was able to legally purchase a handgun. No one was injured in the attempt.

In a release, Nettles said the grant will “help state, local and federal law enforcement enforce” laws that prohibit individuals found to be mentally ill or committed to mental health institution from owning a gun.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service