York Sheriff backs bill enforcing provisions for mentally ill on gun background checks

Posted February 19, 2013 6:25 pm | Filed under Local News

York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant stood in the State House Tuesday hand-in-hand with other sheriffs, law enforcement and elected leaders across the state across the state pushing for the General Assembly to pass a new bill designed to enforce the reporting of those documented as mentally ill.

Bryant said that now, South Carolina is one of 13 states that does not require reporting that information to federal authorities who authorize gun sales to dealers.

WRHI was the only York County media outlet there Tuesday at the State House. Bryant said the new measure is not a gun control measure, but a way of requiring the courts to report those offenders — which now is optional.

The issue came up after a woman with a mental illness walked into a private school in downtown Charleston on February 1 wielding a gun that she bought in Walterboro.

Lexington Republican Rep. Rick Quinn is one of eight sponsors of the bill (full text here), and says it does have a provision for a person to petition to get their gun rights back

The bipartisan bill was introduced Tuesday and referred to the House Judiciary committee.

The South Carolina Radio Network contributed to this report.