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Senate's Obama Gun Background Checks Rollback to Test Trump

Image: Senate's Obama Gun Background Checks Rollback to Test Trump

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By    |   Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 08:53 AM

The Senate has voted to roll back former President Barack Obama’s broad rule on gun background checks, setting up the first guns-related test of President Donald Trump who needs to sign off on the measure for it to be finalized.

In a 57 to 43 vote on Wednesday, the Senate joined the House in repealing Obama’s gun regulations he put in place after the Newtown Sandy Hook shooting, saying they were needed  to prevent certain people with mental illness from buying firearms, according to NPR.

The rule was criticized as far too broad and the House previously voted 235-180 to overturn it, said The Hill.

The rollback measure now goes to Trump for his first decision on gun control since taking office last month, according to BBC News. Based on Trump’s pro-gun views throughout his campaign, it shouldn’t be hard.

During the campaign, gun advocates strongly supported Trump because of his friendship with the National Rifle Association and the fact his campaign message leaned in favor of gun rights.

Under Obama’s rule, the Social Security Administration was required to keep records of certain mentally ill beneficiaries. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System was privy to these records – information pertaining to some 75,000 people.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has been vocal about rolling back the rule, arguing it contains “vague characteristics that do not fit into the federal mentally defective standard,” NPR noted.

“If a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it,” Grassley said.

The American Civil Liberties Union and several gun advocacy groups were also against the Obama rule, saying it goes against the Second Amendment and puts a stigma on people with mental illness.

Democrats criticized Republicans for pushing back on Obama’s rule, claiming it makes it easier for people with mental illness to purchase guns and will not be good for the country, according to BBC News.

“I don’t know why we think that somebody who literally can’t manage their own financial affairs could be a responsible gun owner,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. “I hope something truly awful doesn’t happen because of this.”

Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who represents the Connecticut district where Newtown is located, criticized the House rollback vote.

“The House charged ahead with an extreme, hastily written, one-sided measure that would make the American people less safe,” she said.

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, also argued against the rollback.

“Make no mistake, this vote was really about deepening the gun industry’s customer pool, at the expense of those in danger of hurting themselves or others,” said Gross.

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The Senate voted to roll back former President Barack Obama’s broad rule on gun background checks, setting up the first guns-related test of President Donald Trump who needs to sign off on the measure for it to be finalized.
senate, obama, gun, background checks, trump
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2017-53-16
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 08:53 AM
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