Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joined with fellow Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democrat Senators Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas yesterday, introducing legislation to clarify circumstances under which a person loses the right to receive or possess firearms based on mental illness.
The Senators noted that under current law certain mental incompetency adjudications are not required to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which is the clearinghouse for all new gun purchases. They seek to codify specifics to remedy that in The NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013.
Senator Graham said “The Alice Boland case is ‘Exhibit A’ of a broken background check system.” Graham added “An individual who pleads ‘Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity’ should not be able to pass a federal background check and legally purchase a gun. As astonishing as it sounds, that actually happened. Our bill addresses the Boland case, and other similar instances, to ensure that those who have been declared an imminent danger to themselves or others aren’t legally able to obtain a firearm. I would expect overwhelming bipartisan support for our legislation.”