If gun control advocates thought they would pressure President Trump into signing gun control legislation into law, the White House earlier sent a message that is highly unlikely to happen.
Last February, President Trump signed into law a bill revoking Obama-era gun checks that would have screened for those with mental illnesses. NBC News reported with an update today:
President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.
The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.
Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to that database.
Former President Obama recommended the regulation following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, which killed 20 schoolchildren and six others. As NBC News points out, “the original rule was hotly contested by gun rights advocates who said it infringed on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
President Trump signed the bill, H.J. Res 40, into law last year. As Snopes pointed out about the measure, it was never implemented:
As we explained in a 17 February 2017 post, this rule — which never went into effect before being rescinded — did not change any existing laws regulating who is allowed to purchase guns. It merely would have provided a new way to enforce existing restrictions on gun sales by allowing a transfer of information from one agency to anothe
The National Rifle Association approved of Trump’s action. NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox hailed it as marking “a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.”
On Thursday, the president remarked the suspected Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was “mentally disturbed.”
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
In a televised White House address on Thursday, the president also called for more measures to address mental illness.
“Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can,” President Trump said. “We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
“Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals,” he continued, “where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
Former President Obama, in a statement at about the same time as President Trump’s address, called for more gun control.
“We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change,” Obama tweeted.
Former President Obama was able to implement only sparse gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings. Under current President Trump, those regulations became even fewer.
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