Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from purchasing guns

Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from purchasing guns

In another move to dismantle Obama-era regulations, the Senate voted Wednesday to strike down a rule seeking to prevent individuals with mental health disorders from purchasing a gun. The vote, which approves a House resolution passed earlier this month, now sends the measure to the White House for President Trump's signature.

The new rules aimed to bolster the federal background check system, requiring the Social Security Administration to include the names of those who received disability benefits and had a third party managing those funds in the database.

The Senate voted 57 to 43 in favor of the resolution of disapproval, with four Democrats and Senator Angus King, I-Maine, joining with Republicans to pass the measure. An estimated 75,000 beneficiaries are affected by the rule.

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Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the regulation issued by the Obama administration was too vague.

President Trump, who campaigned as a defender of gun rights and a friend of the National Rifle Association, is widely expected to sign the measure.

While framing the regulation as something that prevents "mentally incompetent people from buying guns" may make it sound like common sense, the reality - as KSHB notes - is that "the debate isn't so cut-and-dry".

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He said it unfairly stigmatized the mentally disabled.

"The Second Amendment, as a fundamental right, requires the government to carry the burden to show a person has risky mental illness", he said.

Nine out of ten Americans want stronger background checks for gun purchases and want the gun show loophole closed, but Republicans in both the House and Senate refuse to comply. "There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one's Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence", said the ACLU in a statement.

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