House Republicans have taken the first step in repealing a restriction on gun sales put in place by President Obama in the closing days of his administration. The regulation required the Social Security Administration to share national background check system information on those with mental illness according to CNN. The rule was meant to place checks on those with mental illness from purchasing a firearm, with a focus on those “considered incapable of managing their own disability benefits due mental illness.”
The regulation faced criticism from the National Rifle Association and American Civil Liberties Union for “casting too wide a net” and ignoring due process. According to CNN, critics felt that the broad rules used to add people to the database would not bar someone from buying a gun:
“The Social Security Administration not only overstepped its mission with this regulation, it discriminated against certain Americans with disabilities who receive Social Security benefits. The agency should be focused on serving all of its beneficiaries, not picking and choosing whose Second Amendment rights to deny,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee.
The vote in the house 235-180 and will likely pass the Senate soon before moving on to the desk of President Trump. Democrats who voted against the repeal claim that this decision will lead to more gun violence according to CNN:
“The American people and the families that are being hurt day after day by gun violence — they deserve some due process too,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.
This move by Republicans in Congress is one of many meant to remove last minute regulations placed by President Obama before he left office. The repeal will also be the first decision for the gun control debate under President Trump, possibly setting the tone for what is to come.