Wednesday afternoon U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) along with three other senators introduced legislation that would restrict those who have been deemed mentally ill, the ability to purchase or possess firearms.
The legislation was presented as the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013.
Right now if a person is found mentally ill by a federal court they still have the right to purchase a firearm. If a person is found mentally ill by a state court, they cannot.
The legislation hopes to restrict several cases of those who have been found mentally ill by a federal court, including the following:
- Those who are an imminent danger to themselves or others;
- Found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case;
- Was not guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease defect;
- Was incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case;
- Was not guilty only by reason of lack of mental responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
- Required involuntary inpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital;
- Required involuntary outpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital based on a finding that the person is an imminent danger to himself or to others;
- Required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital for any reason including drug use.
This proposed legislation stems from an incident within South Carolina.
In February, Alice Boland, was accused of taking a gun to a school in Charleston in an attempt to shoot staff there.
Police say the gun, did not fire.
In 2005, Boland pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in federal court for making a threat against the President.
Boland was committed to a mental health treatment facility.
Because it was a federal court, the charge did not register on a background check, and she was able to purchase a gun.
Graham says this bill would fill those gaps in the system.
"I will make sure I can do everything with my colleges to make sure this mistake is fixed," said Graham.