News and Commentary

Here’s The Truth About Trump Revoking Gun Checks On The ‘Mentally Ill’

In the wake of the tragic South Florida school shooting that left at least 17 people dead, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have been pushing for a crackdown on Second Amendment rights, which they often strategically refer to as “gun safety legislation.”

While pushing such rash, broad and frequently unspecified “gun laws,” leftists have slammed President Donald Trump for eliminating a proposed Obama-era regulation which allegedly stopped the “mentally ill” from legally obtaining firearms.

See genius CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s tweet for a perfect example:

This is a major distortion of reality; a cynical way of falsely tying the evil actions of one man onto the president and Republican lawmakers in the ultimate pursuit of gun control measures.

The proposed rule was seriously broad, revoking Second and Fourth Amendment rights of tens of thousands of Americans, based merely on the fact that they received assistance in managing their disability payments from Social Security. The rule was rightly repealed by Congressional Republicans and President Trump.

As noted by Scott Shackford at Reason magazine, “This is a regulation that potentially deprived between 75,000 to 80,000 people of a right based not on what they had done but on the basis of being classified by the government in a certain way. The fact that these people may have these impairments did not inherently mean that they were dangerous to themselves or others and needed to be kept away from guns.”

“The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands,” explained Shackford.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), mental health and disability groups, and even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) strongly opposed the rule.

The ACLU warned that the bill stripped Americans who were not shown to be a danger to themselves or others of Constitutional rights, including young people struggling with depression, those with eating disorders, and other mental disorders.

“The thousands of Americans whose disability benefits are managed by someone else range from young people with depression and financial inexperience to older adults with Down syndrome needing help with a limited budget,” wrote the ACLU. “But no data — none — show that these individuals have a propensity for violence in general or gun violence in particular.”

“To the contrary, studies show that people with mental disabilities are less likely to commit firearm crimes than to be the victims of violence by others,” the group added.

President Trump and GOP lawmakers did not eliminate an Obama-era regulation that stopped the “mentally ill” from legally obtaining guns. They rolled back a regulation that targeted innocent Americans and stripped them of Constitutional rights.

“The ACLU and 23 national disability groups did not oppose this rule because we want more guns in our community. This is about more than guns. Adding more innocent Americans to the National Instant Criminal Background database because of a mental disability is a disturbing trend — one that could be applied to voting, parenting or other rights dearer than gun ownership. We opposed it because it would do little to stem gun violence but do much to harm our civil rights,” wrote the ACLU.

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