New gun buyer mental health check rules were proposed by the Obama Administration today. Congress failed to act on upgrading regulations to cover gun ownership mental health issues. The President proposed two new rules, one to clarify gun ownership restrictions for the mentally ill and one easing the process of adding the results of mental health background checks and restrictions to the federal check system.
High speed photo of handgun being fired
The president had proposed sweeping legislative action, but Congress refused to address the matter, claiming that no restrictions that did not impinge on eligible gun owners were possible for ineligible owners. What it amounted to was a statement in effect that it was better to allow matters to continue as they are than to risk any impingement on “gun rights,” rights that apparently override all others, including the right to not be murdered for already living citizens. Most gun activists have allowed for only “more guns” as a response to having too many guns in the hands of the wrong people.
These two executive orders were issued because, despite broad American support for improved background checks, sharing of the results of such checks and making it illegal for a person to purchase a gun for a person who has failed such checks, the NRA and a vocal minority has effectively bottled up all legislation in Congress. The Obama Administration has now issued approximately two dozen separate executive orders amending and strengthening gun purchase control legislation. Nonetheless, truly effective control of guns awaits a comprehensive federal program, and that requires Congressional action.