Sometimes laws are passed and they seem to never be heard of again. Well in South Carolina (SC) a law concerning guns has a reached a milestone that is cause for celebration. The State newspaper reported Sunday that there has been a marked decrease in the number of weapons that are being sold to the mentally ill.
One of the problems with crimes committed by someone that is mentally ill is that because they are mentally incapacitated, the courts often have to refer them to treatment. This is beneficial for the person receiving rehab or clinical treatment, but it does nothing to lessen the anguish of the victims. The perpetrator is taken care of and society’s desire for justice or accountability is left hanging.
The last straw for many SC legislators was the case of Alice Boland, who was committed to a treatment center in 2005 for allegedly threatening to kill President George. W. Bush. The charges were dropped due to her pleas of insanity. Well just last year Boland turned up in Charleston attempting to shoot a school official in Charleston. No blood was shed because there were no bullets in the gun.
To combat this revolving door cycle, SC passed a law to keep those weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill. According to The State, the new law “requires probate courts to report all cases where a person was judged mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. That information goes into a federal database, and those people aren't allowed to own a gun.”
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) released its report on the effectiveness of the new law and it passed with flying colors. In the first year of its existence, this law has blocked at least 136 people with a documented history of mental illness from buying a gun. No one knows for sure if those turned away would have committed a crime with their weapons, but everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that innocent victims will never have to find out.