Obama Gun-Control Measure Is Reversed

It would have affected about 75K people with mental illnesses
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2017 12:59 PM CST
Obama Gun-Control Measure Is Reversed
A handgun is seen at a gun range in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

President Trump has undone one of his predecessor's final executive actions, a measure designed to make it harder for the mentally ill to own guns. The issue is a little more complicated than the usual gun-control debate, however: This time, both the NRA and the ACLU opposed the measure. The move by President Obama in December required the Social Security Administration to provide information about people who met certain criteria to the national database for background checks, reports NBC News. Affected would be those who get full disability benefits because of a mental illness and who were deemed unfit to manage their own finances, explains CNN. They were to be notified that they might not be eligible to own a gun, though they could appeal.

The Obama administration estimated it would apply to 75,000 people. Last week, the House and Senate passed a bill to undo the rule, and Trump signed it into law on Tuesday. He had promised to "un-sign that [bill] so fast" even before he became president, reports USA Today. It was criticized by both the ACLU, which said it added to the stereotype that equates mental illness with violence, and the NRA, which opposed it on Second Amendment grounds. The head of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action says the move "marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms." Gun-control advocates say the law would've prevented suicides and accidental deaths. (Read more gun rights stories.)

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