A Beaufort woman whose criminal actions eventually led state lawmakers to change how gun sale background checks are handled in South Carolina will remain in a psychiatric facility in Texas indefinitely, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
30-year-old Alice Boland was arrested in February 2013 after police said she purchased a gun and drove to Ashley Hall girls school in Charleston. Once there, police say she pulled out the gun and tried to fire it at a school administrator — but could not because the weapon had not been loaded correctly. She was taken into federal custody and has been in the FMC Carswell psychiatric facility in Texas ever since.
A court-ordered psychiatric examination has been completed and a number of other motions were filed and sealed orders issued. The U.S. Attorney’s Office made a motion under seal to obtain permission to disclose limited information regarding developments in the case and the outcome of the hearing. The North Texas court granted permission.
Prosecutors say the information that may be disclosed under the Court’s order is limited to the following: “Alice Boland was civilly committed to the custody of the Attorney General… after the court found by clear and convincing evidence that she is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect as a result of which her release would create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage to property of another.”
That means she will be kept indefinitely at the Texas facility until a court finds she is mentally competent enough to stand trial for charges from the Ashley Hall incident.
Boland was not allowed to own a gun after she was deemed mentally incompetent after making threats against then-President George Bush. However, state law at the time did not require the information be included in a federal gun sales database, meaning the business which sold the gun to Boland did not realize she was barred from owning one. Legislators changed state law last year requiring probate courts submit data on such rulings to the federal government. The law became known as the “Alice Boland” bill.
Since the law took effect last year, the State Law Enforcement Division says 136 illegal purchases have been blocked in South Carolina.