Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A.

Trump Nixes Law Barring Gun Sales to the Disabled

In February, President Trump signed a bill that put the kibosh on an Obama-era rule that would have prevented thousands of people receiving disability benefits from purchasing firearms.

The rule, which was only finalized in December, would have required the Social Security Administration to provide information to a national gun registry system about any individual receiving benefits for a mental illness who had also been appointed a representative to handle their benefits.

The rule affected both those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security income.

The regulation did not distinguish between the types of mental illness the individual received benefits for. It included a range of disabling conditions including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

The main factor that triggered whether an individual made the list was whether they could handle their own funds.

The Social Security Administration would have been required to notify individuals orally and in writing if they were placed on the list so they had the opportunity to appeal their background check status if they believed the SSA was wrong in its determination.

Individuals could have been removed from the list if they could show that they did not pose a risk to public safety.

It's estimated that 75,000 people would have been affected by the rule.

Gun control groups lobbied for the rule, arguing that it would prevent many suicides and accidental shootings.

The rule was opposed by both the National Rifle Association and the ACLU. The ACLU argued that it reinforced a stereotype that people who suffer from mental illness are inherently violent, and noted that mentally ill individuals are actually more likely to be victims of violence.

The rule would have gone into effect later this year, so it actually didn't affect anyone now receiving disability benefits before it was squashed.

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