In the gun control plan proposed by the Obama Administration, the President recommends several changes, including increased supervision, intense background checks, and financial rewards for following the guidelines.
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While these plans may help prevent more school and public shootings, there are pros and cons associated with the proposed legislation and executive orders.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Right to Privacy
Obama proposes that gun sellers should consider people’s mental health and psychiatric evaluations. To accomplish this, he recommends lowering HIPAA’s guard and making it easier for states to obtain personal mental health records, as summarized by the National Conference on State Legislatures (NCSL).
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However, both the U.S. Supreme Court and HIPPA insist Americans have the right to their privacy. And, traditionally, the courts have honored patient-doctor privilege.
What is the cost of safety?
The Obama Administration has put before Congress a $4 billion proposal. The proposal designates financial rewards to states that participate in the proposed laws.
His plan would give a sum total of $20 million the first year and $50 million the second year to participating states.
Another aspect of the proposed gun control bill is increased prosecution. Obama requested then-Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate state scenarios regarding gun violence.
But just the opposite has happened. The Justice Department – a federal agency under the president’s authority – prosecuted 25 percent less gun cases in 2014, according to an investigation by The Washington Times.
Federal prosecutors charged 5,082 people with gun infractions in 2013. Under former President George W. Bush’s administration, 6,791 people were charged during the last year of his presidency in 2008, according to the report.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.
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