Bill proposes mental illness background check for gun buys - FOX Carolina 21

Bill proposes mental illness background check for gun buys

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Tim Wetter spent some bonding time with his son Monday night at the Sharp Shooters range in Greenville County. He said he's teaching him about gun safety.

"He understands if I teach him, that I will take him shooting, but it has to be in the proper place and in the proper manner," Wetter said.

Not only can you practice at the range at Sharp Shooters, but you can also buy bullets and guns too. Those items are shooting off the shelves, but employees said they try to make sure guns don't get into the wrong hands.

"Whenever we sell a firearm, we are required by federal law to turn around and run a NIX check, which is through FBI," Ted Landreth said.

He's a co-owner of Sharp Shooters and a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.

"You can look around in this store and you won't see any gun in there that wants to jump off the wall and hurt anybody," Landreth said.

He also supports a new proposed bill that would require gun shop employees to run a mental health background check in a national database before a potential customer buys a gun.

"It's not the gun, it's what's in the people's heart and sometimes what's in their minds," Landreth said.

State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, D-District 119, introduced the bill Monday afternoon in front of Ashley Hall, a private school in Charleston. Police said Alice Boland, a woman with a history of mental illness, pulled the trigger of a pistol several times when an Ashley Hall school employee approached her, but the gun never fired.

"We can not afford to wait around for this to happen again and for us not to be lucky next time," Stavrinakis said.

Investigators said Boland bought the gun legally three days before the incident.

And Wetter said the database is necessary because not everyone should be a gun owner.

"People can have emotional issues and never had been arrested," Wetter said.

Counselors who work with those with mental illness said there are different levels of illness and it could be difficult to determine who goes into a database and who doesn't.

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