Gilliard: Don't leave gun control out of the conversation - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Gilliard: Don't leave gun control out of the conversation

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By Stefanie Bainum
sbainum@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Lawmakers are making a case for change in South Carolina following the Ashley Hall gun incident on February 4. City of Charleston police officials say 28-year-old Alice Boland drew a gun on Ashley Hall faculty and students at the carpool line.

Since then, lawmakers left and right have proposed legislation to curb gun violence. On Monday, Ashley Hall parents and their children joined state representative Leon Stavrinakis on campus for a press conference. Stavrinakis announced that he is proposing a bill that will create a system for courts to report mental health records to state agencies.

Those records would include people who've been deemed mentally unstable or those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution. Attorney General Alan Wilson is holding a press conference on Tuesday in Columbia on the same issue.

State Representative Wendell Gilliard says that mental health is just one part of fixing the gun violence issue.

"If people would just understand we are dealing with more than one problem. Here first, you have the problem with just guns then you have the problem with assault weapons," Rep. Wendell Gilliard said. "We have to be inclusive. If we don't talk about banning certain type of assault weapons it's sad to say then we wont resolve the problem."

Gilliard said he has put forth an assault weapons ban bill to the General Assembly. Police said suspect Alice Boland was not carrying an assault weapon, but rather a pistol. Officials said Boland purchased the gun legally from a Walterboro gun shop.

Attorney General Alan Wilson released in a statement that gun control was not central to the press conference on Tuesday, but rather mental health reform.

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