Mayor Riley reacts to new mental health reporting bill

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Gun store owner Jeremy Burnham said the attorney general's proposed legislation was a relief. He wouldn't want to sell a gun to someone like Alice Boland with a documented history of mental illness and crime, he said.

"From a gun store owner's perspective, you don't like to know the firearms you're selling are ending up in the hands of someone who's going to commit a crime. So it's one step further to making sure that's not going to happen," he said.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said he sent letters asking state legislators to create a database that will report mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The attorney general answered that request Tuesday.

"This is no way infringing on anyone's Second Amendment rights. This is basic common sense," Riley said.

Riley also said he will meet with Ashley Hall School parents this week. They're the parents who said they saw Alice Boland with a gun at their children's school and then lobbied lawmakers to make the bill happen.

But Riley said he's not stopping at mental health reporting.

"The city's plan to enhance security of schools serves all the schools in our city, public and private, because we believe those children in the schools are all citizens of our community," he said.

Burnham is also a parent of young twins. He said he's glad lawmakers value their safety and what happens with the product he sells.

"We know they're crazy. So [now] we don't have to prove they're crazy and make that decision," he said.

ABC News 4 also called the Walterboro Gun Shop where Alice Boland legally purchased her gun. The owner did not want to comment on the attorney general's announcement.

Riley also said he will be contacting Mayors Against Illegal Guns to support similar legislation at a federal level. Federal agencies like the Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard are also required to report.

But according to a report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, many agencies don't do it.