(Newswire.net — February 17, 2017) — The US Senate has voted to end Obama’s administration law which prevents people with mental diseases to buy firearms, the Huffington Post reports.
Explaining the move, Republican majority in Congress stated that the law was unfair to people with disabilities. One independent senator and four Democrats joined Republican majority who voted 57 to 43 to enable 75,000 people with severe mental illnesses to buy arms.
The Huffington Post cited Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who said this regulation “unfairly stigmatizes people with disabilities.” According to Senator Grassley, “if the regulation is not repealed, it will allow the agency to unfairly deprive Social Security recipients of their Second Amendment rights.”
Arguing that the ban is a violation of the second amendment, Senator Grassley stressed that people who suffer from eating and sleeping disorders could be unfairly reported to the background check system.
Obama’s administration introduced a bill forbidding people with mental disorders to purchase firearms after the 2012 massacre of 26 children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, by a mentally impaired person who legally obtained the rifle.
The Social Security Administration introduced the rule in 2015, but it was only finalized last December.
According to Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), Republicans are hypocritical because they are asking to enforce the existing law, while at the same time, they are “rewriting the law so that fewer people will be put on the criminal background check system.”
Disability advocates were concerned about the regulation, arguing it discriminated against too many people with mental disabilities and could set a precedent to reduce other rights.
Senate Democrats saw the repeal vote by Republicans as hypocritical and pandering to their base rather than it being a real concern for those suffering from a mental illness.
Even though the nation’s population has grown by almost 100 million between 1981 and 2015, the rate of violent crime dropped by nearly a half, according to FBI figures.