Augusta Free Press

Congress moves to put guns back in hands of those with severe mental illness

The House of Representatives voted Friday to roll back President Obama’s regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose to the national gun background check system information about people with severe mental illness.

The rule was hailed by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group seeking to reduce gun violence, as a step that would ”support enforcement of federal firearm laws by ensuring that prohibited people cannot pass a background check simply because their mental health records were not submitted to the system.”

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam issued the following statement in response to the vote:

“President Trump and House Republicans often talk about making our country safer. Yet, they voted to reduce to the effectiveness of our national gun background check system. They also continue to roll back, and block, commonsense regulations that protect our communities.

“Too many times, our Commonwealth has experienced the devastating effects of gun violence. At Virginia Tech, families and loved ones dealt with unimaginable losses. Instead of weakening our laws and regulations on guns, we need to be strengthening them. As governor, I will continue to fight for commonsense gun reforms.”