House votes to overrule Obama-era gun restrictions on mentally ill

House votes to overrule Obama-era gun restrictions on mentally ill

The US House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday voted to repeal [text, PDF] an Obama-era gun regulation that required mental health information to be shared with the national gun background check system. The Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 [text] was a Social Security Administration (SSA) [official website] regulation published in December designed to restrict the mentally ill from obtaining firearms, as it contained a reporting mechanism that would have required the SSA to send records of some of its beneficiaries with severe mental illnesses to the FBI so that it can be incorporated into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System [official website]. Approximately 75,000 individuals found mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs would have been affected by the regulation, and the National Rifle Association [advocacy website] played a significant role [NPR report] in pushing for its repeal.

Gun control and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial topics across the US. In December Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] signed Senate Bill 199 [JURIST report], making it legal to carry concealed weapons at daycare facilities and onto college campuses. In September the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] restored [JURIST report] gun ownership rights of individuals convicted of minor crimes. Earlier that month the New Jersey Second Amendment Society [official website] filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit against the state’s Attorney General in New Jersey’s district court alleging the state’s stun gun ban is unconstitutional. In June the US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a state law conviction on reckless domestic assault is sufficient to bar possession of a firearm under federal law. Earlier in June Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill [JURIST report] requiring gun owners to be listed on an FBI database, notifying police if a Hawaii citizen is arrested in another state and providing a continuous criminal record check on those individuals seeking to possess a firearm.