Mental Illness, Background Checks, and Social Security

President Obama, according to a July 18 Los Angeles Times article, is pushing to extend gun background checks to Social Security.

The article describes the  National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) MentalIyIllGunswhich was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Law). It is used to identify those who can not legally  ship, transport, receive, or possess, or  firearms. Besides felons, drug addicts and illegal immigrants, “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease” fall in the no firearm category. (Follow this link for a full list of restricted firearm categories and their corresponding regulation.)

Social Security does not use the NICS, but the Obama administration is urging them to. That way when Social Security declares some one to be mentally disabled, the client’s name can be reported to the NICS register. The goal is to get an complete listing of those who disqualify from gun ownership.

I wonder how our representative to congress feels about this proposal. Rep. Reed has consistently pointed at the Mental Health problems as a factor in gun violence.  He brought up Mental Health at the Town Hall Meetings a day after the New Town Connecticut school massacre and four days after he Charleston church massacre. We are hearing about the mental health problems of the accused slayer at the Lafayette theater shooting.

At the Geneva meeting after the Charleston massacre, Rep. Reed  said  “I wholeheartedly  agree on the mental health priority,” and was open to conversations dealing to “Make sure that those who are mentally ill do not get weapons.” Last year Rep. Reed voted to increase funding for the NICS by $19.5 million, so he must approve of it.

Did I miss a statement from Rep. Reed praising  President Obama for his determination to combat gun violence?

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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