Obama proposes firearm background check changes

... With particular focus on limiting access to those with mental health issues
Associated Press
Jan 3, 2014

 

The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues.

One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. The administration said states have complained that some wording is ambiguous, making it difficult to determine who should be blocked from buying a weapon.

The change also will help states determine what information may be shared with the federal background check system for firearms transfers. The system has prevented more than 2 million guns from falling into the wrong hands, the Justice Department says.

A second proposed rule change would give hospitals and other entities covered by patient privacy provisions more flexibility in the information they provide to the background check system. However, the administration said the rule change would not require reporting on general mental health care or legally prohibit someone from having a firearm solely because they sought treatment.

The White House announced the proposals while President Barack Obama was vacationing in Hawaii.

Obama put forward sweeping gun control measures last year following the horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But the toughest proposals, including stricter background checks, fell flat on Capitol Hill, forcing the White House to rely on piecemeal measures that can be implemented without congressional approval.

Several perpetrators of the nation's worst mass shootings have had mental health issues, including Newtown shooter Adam Lanza. However, they acquired their guns in different ways, with Lanza using firearms purchased by his mother when he went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary.

In announcing the proposed rule changes, the White House also called on Congress to again tackle gun control issues this year. However, there's little indication that lawmakers plan to take up the issue.

"Today, we are taking steps to further strengthen the federal background check system. It's time Congress joins us in this effort," Vice President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter. Biden has headed up the White House's anti-gun violence efforts following the Newtown shooting.

Friday's rule changes were proposed by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. The agencies must accept and analyze public comments before issuing final rules.

Comments

SamAdams

Let's see...Obamacare mandates electronic record-keeping. Obamacare is effectively a government entity and with a centralized database. Doesn't anybody else see EXACTLY where this is leading?

coasterfan

The paranoia on the Right is breathtaking...

Erie County Resident

The mental health issues of the left are even worse.

JudgeMeNot

Like.

Really are you ...

The movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Eraser." Someone hacks that database and...

abigbear

The agencies must accept and analyze public comments before issuing final rules.

JUST Like obamacare they listened to the PUBLIC

Erie County Resident

The AP says "Several perpetrators of the nation's worst mass shootings have had mental health issues".
What they fail to mention is the majority of them are registered liberal Democrats.
Now lets look at the DOJ program of Fast & Furious that gave how many thousands of guns away to criminals and has been swept under Obama's rug.
I agree Sam it's only a ploy to get all guns and owners registered.

SamAdams

I don't necessarily think it's a ploy to get all guns and owners registered (though let's not pretend that's not a bigtime goal of the liberal left). I DO think it's a ploy to take guns away from at least some people.

The Big Dog's back

In right wingnut world up is down, forward is reverse, black is white.

Contango

Re: "up is down, forward is reverse, black is white."

Thanks for that update from Bizarro World.

Nor'easter

Scary idea.

AJ Oliver

"majority of them are registered liberal Democrats."
Where do I register as a "liberal democrat"? (Hint - there is no party by that name)
Sources ? Evidence ?

Contango

Re: "liberal Democrats"

Agree. Realistically there's no such thing because the majority of Dems are in FACT authoritarian-totalitarians.

Google: "The World's Smallest Political Quiz"

SamAdams

No swear words. No links. No "naughty" words. And yet I'm spam-blocked? What's up, Register?

Contango

Re: "they (mentally ill) acquired their guns in different ways,"

They will ALWAYS acquire firearms "in different ways."

At the time of the tragedy in Newtown, CT had some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.

The gun grabbing progressives won't be satisfied until the 2nd Amend. is repealed and personal ownership of firearms is a crime.

reporter54

How are they going to be able to identify everyone that is mentally ill? Some have not snapped yet or gone to a doctor.

Unassumer

I might just go off at any time.

deertracker

Relax people! Unless you are mentally ill you will not be affected by this!

SamAdams

I would agree in principal since NOBODY wants violently crazy people to have weapons of ANY kind! The problem? Define "mentally ill," and explain how we can predict who will snap VIOLENTLY.

Not every depressed man hurts anybody. Not everyone who temporarily suffers from high anxiety does anything except get better. Not every painfully shy student suffers any more than difficulty making friends. Conversely, not every violent "snap" is clearly broadcast by warning behaviors.

The worry here is that because, on RARE occasions, depressed or anxious or the "loners," DO snap that EVERYBODY diagnosed with such a problem will have their rights suspended or prohibited on a "just in case" mindset. And when the government has a list of all of those who've sought treatment for such disorders, and the ability to cross-correlate that list, can you blame any number of people for being just a tad paranoid? (Ooops, isn't that ANOTHER "mental disorder?")

There you go again

Don't get me wrong, I think it is a smart idea to limit firearms to mentally ill. It just seems that this is the only thing Obama can do anymore.....everything around him is swept under the rug so "let's forget about ObamaNOcare, IRS, AP, Benghazi, Fast n Furious.". Oh well, at least he looks like he is on the job.

JudgeMeNot

More 0-bama hot air.

Dr. Information

Have a mental breakdown during a divorce or loss of life and see a shrink? Guess what, no gun for you. That's what the liberals want, this is exactly what more gun checks means.