CNN reportedly claimed that President Trump ended a rule to keep guns away from the “mentally ill.”
The Daily Wire reports the claim was made by anchors Poppy Harlow and John Avlon, who suggested Trump “eliminated a proposed Obama-era regulation that would keep firearms out of the hands of the ‘mentally ill.'”
Trump actually repealed an Obama-era regulation–aka, the Social Security Gun Ban–which threatened Social Security recipients with forfeiture of their Second Amendment rights if they needed third party help with their finances. Breitbart News reported that Trump signed the repeal of the ban on February 28, 2017. Establishment media outlets like NBC News immediately framed it as an open door for the mentally ill to purchase guns, and CNN reportedly offered a similar description following the Texas and Ohio shootings.
The DC Examiner’s John Caruso tweeted:
My God, @PoppyHarlowCNN just repeated the lie that the Trump administration "rolled back" Obama administration rules that kept guns out of the hands of the "mentally ill." This is such poor journalism on her part. The regulation had nothing to do with "mental illness" and
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) August 5, 2019
On March 5, 2016, Breitbart News reported specific details on the Social Security Gun Ban and those details came directly from the Social Security Administration, making clear an investigation for mental health problem could be launched on a Social Security beneficiary if they lacked the ability to handle their own finances:
Under our representative payee policy, unless direct payment is prohibited, we presume that an adult beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits. However, if we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability. If a beneficiary has a mental impairment, we will develop the capability issue if there is an indication that the beneficiary may lack the ability to reason properly, is disoriented, has seriously impaired judgment, or is unable to communicate with others.
Once the beneficiary had the SSA’s attention–by having someone help with finances–the process of determining mental health status was to begin, and would become incrementally intrusive. And if a ruling of mental illness sufficient to meet the reporting threshold is handed down, then the beneficiary will be reported to NICS and prohibited from purchasing firearms.
Trump and the Republican-controlled House and Senate sought repeal of ban because it put Social Security recipients at peril of losing gun rights should they need a fiduciary to help them.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.