House Votes To Scrap Gun Rule Affecting People With Mental Disorders
The Republican-led House votes 235-180 to repeal Obama's gun background check rule to keep firearms out of the hands of people with mental disorders. The rule also requires the Social Security Administration to disclose information about those who are considered incapable of managing their disability benefits due to mental illness.
The rule was instituted during the last days of former President Barack Obama which sought to limit the ability of those with mental disorder to purchase guns, as reported by CNN. It drew a lot of criticism as it disregards the right to due process. According to NPR, the rule would have required the SSA to send records of beneficiaries with severe mental disorders to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Should it have been implemented, about 75,000 people found mentally incapable of managing their disability benefits would be affected.
The National Rifle Association had pushed for the repeal and considers the Congress' decision to review Obama's gun rule as a significant step forward in "protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners." Rep. Kevin Brady, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee noted that the SSA overstepped in its role and discriminated against Americans with disabilities. He said the agency should focus on serving its beneficiaries than denying their Second Amendment rights. Also, the Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act to roll back all manner of regulations put in place by Obama.
However, supporters of the rule contended it was implemented to stop people with mental disorders from using firearms. "The House charged ahead with an extreme, hastily written, one-sided measure that would make the American people less safe," said Rep. Elizabeth Esty who shared a situation where a mentally ill man shot and killed children and adults in her place. Democrats affirmed that repealing the rule would lead to more gun violence.
There are constructive and destructive consequences on each side of the coin. Repealing the rule may lead to abuse and gun violence, on the other hand, implementing it may otherwise discriminate people with mental disorders. No answer is definite as of the moment until President Donald Trump signs the order.