“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” – Trump tweet 2-15-18
Trump Signs Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People With Mental Illnesses
President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.
The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.
Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to that database.
President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead. The measure sought to block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.
The original rule was hotly contested by gun rights advocates who said it infringed on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Gun control advocates, however, praised the rule for curbing the availability of firearms to those who may not use them with the right intentions.
Both the House and Senate last week passed the new bill, H.J. Res 40, revoking the Obama-era regulation.
Trump signed the bill into law without a photo op or fanfare. The president welcomed cameras into the oval office Tuesday for the signing of other executive orders and bills. News that the president signed the bill was tucked at the bottom of a White House email alerting press to other legislation signed by the president.
The National Rifle Association “applauded” Trump’s action. Chris Cox, NRA-ILA executive director, said the move “marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.”
Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt said he expected more gun control rollbacks from the Trump administration. In a statement to NBC News, he called the action “just the first item on the gun lobby’s wish list” and accused the National Rifle Association of “pushing more guns, for more people, in more places.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, called out Republicans over the move.
“Republicans always say we don’t need new gun laws, we just need to enforce the laws already on the books. But the bill signed into law today undermines enforcement of existing laws that Congress passed to make sure the background check system had complete information,” he said in an emailed statement.
The National Rifle Association spends a huge sum of money to defend their perception of the 2nd Amendment. It is opposed to every form of gun regulation, including restrictions on owning assault weapons, retention of databases of gun purchases, background checks on purchasers at gun shows and changes in the registration of firearms.
In 2016, the NRA placed a multi-million dollar bet on Donald Trump and six Republican Senate candidates. NRA, CEO Wayne LaPierre even stated “The NRA stood with Donald Trump during the darkest days of that campaign. We never wavered.” The organization poured $50.2 million into the 2016 campaigns and lost only one race, an open seat in Nevada, vacated by the Democratic Minority Leader, Harry Reid. That race cost the NRA roughly $2.5 million. In North Carolina, the NRA spent $6.2 million on the incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the most it has ever invested in a down-ballot race.
A wall, a travel ban or kicking undocumented people out of this country wouldn’t have prevented “the Florida shooter” from attaining a AR-15 and slaughtering 17 people most of them children at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Trump, the NRA, Republicans, Conservatives and the Al-right made sure that wouldn’t happen.
“The eight year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans.” – Trump speech in Atlanta to roughly 10,000 NRA members.
The New York Times Opinion: Thoughts and Prays and N.R.A. Funding