House Votes to Block Rule on Guns, Mentally Ill

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The House voted yesterday to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill. NPR reports that the action was the latest move by Congressional Republicans to undo President Obama’s regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment though a law called the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Obama measure would require the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries with severe mental disabilities to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. About 75,000 people found mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs would be affected.

The National Rifle Association pushed for the repeal, and Republicans argued that the regulation infringed on Second Amendment rights by denying due process. Supporters of the rule argued it was designed to stop mentally ill persons from getting firearms. “The House charged ahead with an extreme, hastily written, one-sided measure that would make the American people less safe,” saod Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT). Esty represents Newtown, where a mentally ill man shot and killed 20 six- and seven-year-olds and six adults.

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