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House Votes to Repeal Prohibition on Guns for People With Mental Disorders


The House of Representatives voted this week to repeal an Obama administration gun control measure that prevented certain disabled social security recipients from purchasing firearms. The law made it so that people could not buy guns if they had a mental disorder that 1) kept them from working and 2) rendered them unable to manage their social security benefits on their own, requiring a representative to help. With a repeal, the Social Security Administration would no longer provide information regarding such conditions as part of federal background checks for gun purchases.

Critics of the bill, which became law at the end of last year, believe that gun ownership and being able to manage social security benefits have nothing to do with each other. GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte said in a statement, “There is no evidence suggesting that those receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are a threat to public safety.” Advocates for gun rights and for the disabled felt the law was inappropriate. A majority of the House seem to agree, as the regulation was repealed with a vote of 235-180.

Gun control proponents, however, don’t see the reason to eliminate gun control measures. If anything, they want more. New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a member of the House Democratic Caucus’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, said in a statement:

We’ve got it backwards. We shouldn’t be repealing gun safety rules, we should be strengthening them. Gun violence is an epidemic in this country and we have done literally nothing in Congress about it since Republicans took the majority in the House in 2011.


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