Senate Votes To Roll Back Mental Health Background Checks For Guns

Feb 16, 2017, 00:43
Senate Votes To Roll Back Mental Health Background Checks For Guns

Republicans argued the rule, which was vigorously opposed by gun-rights and disability groups, would unfairly stigmatize people with disabilities and strip them of their Second Amendment rights without due process.

These individuals would be flagged in a federal background check.

Specifically, the regulation repealed required the Social Security Administration to submit information about mentally impaired recipients to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

With a Republican ally in the White House, the GOP is moving aggressively on gun rights measures. The Senate has scheduled a vote for Wednesday morning that would send the measure to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

Grassley cited eating and sleep disorders as examples of illnesses that could allow a beneficiary to be reported to the background check system if they also have a third party to manage their benefits. "If a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it", Grassley said. However, someone who is added to the background check system before retirement age would remain there after retirement age.

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The vote has been criticized by gun control advocates who believe it's important to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people deemed too severely mentally ill to manage their own disability benefits.

The American Civil Liberties Union was also against the rule, also saying it stigmatized the mentally ill.

Opponents of the rule, including the National Rifle Association, contended that the regulation violated those people's constitutional right to gun ownership.

"The regulation at issue here was issued by the Social Security Administration under President Obama".

And the ACLU actually agreed with that argument, urging House representatives to vote to roll back the regulation. Passage of the resolution puts others at risk, they said. That was a loophole that the federal mandate to the Social Security Administration could have, ideally, partially closed.