Rule to keep severely mentally ill from buying guns gets nixed by House

Beth Mole
The US House voted 235-180 on Thursday in favor of striking down an Obama-era rule intended to keep guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill.
The rule would require the Social Security Administration to forward information about certain beneficiaries with mental health disorders to the FBI’s background check system. Beneficiaries affected would be those suffering with mental illnesses so severe that they require a representative to manage their finances for them.
The rule, originally slated to go into effect in December, is estimated to affect 75,000 beneficiaries. Those impacted could appeal through the courts to purchase a firearm, but not before their names were sent to the FBI, The Hill reports.
The National Rifle Association, gun advocates, and civil rights advocates, including the ACLU, argued that the rule would strip Second Amendment rights from beneficiaries without due process. Supporters, meanwhile, said the rule would help keep guns out of the hands of those with severe mental illnesses.
"The House charged ahead with an extreme, hastily written, one-sided measure that would make the American people less safe," Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) told The Hill. Rep. Esty represents Newtown, Connecticut, where a man with mental health issues tragically massacred 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
However, The Guardian notes that the National Council on Disability, a nonpartisan government agency, wrote in a letter last year that: “There is, simply put, no nexus between the inability to manage money and the ability to safely and responsibly own, possess, or use a firearm.”
To undo the rule, the House Republicans turned to the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overrule regulations they dislike. It can be passed with a simple majority and can’t be filibustered in the Senate before it’s sent to the President’s desk.
This post has been updated to add that civil rights advocates, including the ACLU, were also opposed to the rule.
Rule to keep severely mentally ill from buying guns gets nixed by House Reviewed by Bizpodia on 02:26 Rating: 5

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