President Trump, in a quiet signing ceremony wedged in between media cycles that were focused on his speech to a joint session of Congress, put an end to a Barack Obama-era try at clipping Second Amendment rights for senior-aged Americans and Social Security recipients.
“Today marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our right to keep and bear arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, in a written statement. “Our thanks go to President Trump and the congressmen and senators who led the fight for this important legislation.”
Obama, in backdoor discussions in the summer of 2015, had pressed regulations regarding gun ownership by those of “subnormal intelligence,” by those with “mental illness” and by those who were otherwise deemed to be incompetent or suffering from a debilitating “disease” or “condition” that could affect mental acuity, Breitbart reported.
The specifics of the ban weren’t released as a legislative proposal, or even as a document for dissemination and discussion. Rather, the ban came to light over a period of months, in dribs and drabs, and what resulted was a realization that those who relied on Social Security for financial assistance, and who simultaneously needed help from someone in order to access their benefits, could face loss of Second Amendment rights.
Basically, Obama was setting up a system in which Social Security beneficiaries who struggled to remain independent could be referred by the SSA for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System’s red-flag list.
And that would bar them from buying firearms.
At the time, the Los Angeles Times noted the policy could impact up to 4.2 million Social Security recipients who required assistance to access their benefits and take care of their finances.
But now, Trump has put a stop to the regulatory clamp-down.
“We are pleased that this example of government overreach will no longer be pursued,” Cox said.
House members voted to repeal the ban the first week of February; the Senate voted shortly after to do the same.
On Tuesday, Trump signed the legislation.
As CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted: “Without ceremony, Pres Trump also signed bill nullifying Obama Admin rule providing Social Security info for gun buyer background checks.”