Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled House passed a resolution that eliminated a requirement that Social Security recipients with mental disabilities be entered in the FBI’s background check system.
According to The Hill, on Wednesday the Senate took up the House’s measure and voted 57-43 in its favor. It now heads to the desk of President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it and thus put the final nail in the coffin of one of former President Barack Obama’s most burdensome and unnecessary gun regulations.
While the regulation, which was slated to go into effect in December, sounded reasonable up front — who in their right mind would want someone with a severe mental disability obtaining a weapon? — it contained some glaring errors.
As noted by critics, the bill would have also effectively stripped the Second Amendment rights of Social Security recipients who were not dangerously mentally ill, such as those with mere sleeping or eating disorders.
“The basic issue presented by the rule was whether Obama’s SSA could, without any changes to the underlying laws, simply re-characterize some 75,000 people a year who have never been banned from owning firearms as suddenly banned,” the National Rifle Association wrote in a report published after the House ruling on Feb. 3.
“The House was absolutely right to vote down this unjustified, politically motivated and unconstitutional measure,” it added.
After the Senate approved the repeal Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pointed out that 20 disability groups had come out against the regulation.
“The reality is that, like us, they believe the regulation is simply bad policy, places an unfair stigma on those with disabilities and violates their constitutional rights, which is why a wide array of groups oppose it,” he said on the Senate floor, according to The Hill.
Keeping guns out of the hands of genuine maniacs is, of course, a concern, but the idea that anyone who collects Social Security disability payments is himself or herself a menace to society is not only wrong — it is cruel.
That said, Congress was 100 percent right to finally repeal this very disturbing regulation.
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