Barack Obama’s administration took to anti-gun identity politics so fervently that every little detail of government had to embrace some form of an anti-gun political wedge issue. Perhaps among the most absurd of these policies, was the idea that elderly folks, who are getting help with there finances, should be banned from buying guns.
With the new Trump administration in control and both the house and senate in Republicans hands, Barack Obama’s divisive political wedge issues are being rolled back, at a such rapid pace, that the media doesn’t even have time to protest.
Here’s what the U.S. Senate just did to Obama’s regulations:
On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate voted 57-43 in favor of H.J.Res.40, which would block the implementation of an Obama-era rule under which the Social Security Administration (SSA) would report the names of tens of thousands of beneficiaries annually to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in order to prohibit them from purchasing firearms. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is permitted to overrule a federal regulation, within a 60 day window, using an expedited legislative procedure that is not subject to the Senate’s filibuster rule. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed this measure by a vote of 235-180. This important legislation now heads to President Donald Trump.
At issue is a December 19, 2016 SSA rule, set to be implemented by December 19, 2017, that broadly prohibits many with what SSA considers to be a mental disorder from purchasing firearms. Under the rule, those with a mental health impairment, who meet SSA’s criteria to receive benefits and also have a representative payee designated to receive these benefits, would be reported to the NICS database as “adjudicated as a mental defective,” and thus prohibited from possessing firearms.
Sadly, existing laws that could actually help prevent legitimately crazy people from having guns are not being enforced. As has been pointed out time and time again, the FBI knew that the Sandy Hook shooter was mentally ill, and knew that he was trying to illegally buy guns, but they did nothing about it. The vast majority of times a mentally ill person or even a criminal, attempts to buy a gun and fails a background check the government does nothing.
Whether you love Trump or hate him, one nice aspect about the Trump administration, is that Obama era politicized gun regulations are headed for same place that those “ready for Hillary” bumper stickers went: the dust bin of history.