Saturday, April 20, 2013

More on the Executive Actions

 Fox News

Blocked by Congress from expanding gun sale background checks, President Obama is turning to actions within his own power to keep people from buying a gun who are prohibited for mental health reasons. 

Federal law bans certain mentally ill people from purchasing firearms, but not all states are providing data to stop the prohibited sales to the FBI's background check system. A federal review last year found 17 states contributed fewer than 10 mental health records to the database, meaning many deemed by a judge to be a danger still could have access to guns. 

The Obama administration was starting a process Friday aimed at removing barriers in health privacy laws that prevent some states from reporting information to the background check system. The action comes two days after the Senate rejected a measure that would have required buyers of firearms online and at gun shows to pass a background check. That's already required for shoppers at licensed gun dealers.
The Obama haters and gun-rights extremists will probably find something wrong with this, but I really can't imagine what it would be.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.


  1. If you can't figure out how making it easier to pass around private information is a bad thing, there's little hope for you. Of course, you've already let us know that you have no worries about the arbitrary power of mental health rulings, so I shouldn't be surprised.

  2. MikeB: "The Obama haters and gun-rights extremists will probably find something wrong with this, but I really can't imagine what it would be."

    I dunno... maybe, "removing barriers in health privacy laws" as a starter.

  3. To truly know what he's doing and if there is a problem with it we will have to wait until we see the actual order.

    I'm interested to see what he does, because from this report and others it looks as if he is planning to create an exception to HIPPA that will allow doctors and psychiatrists to report people who they consider too dangerous to own guns.

    One potential problem would be if someone got put on the list who had not been adjudicated mentally ill--no due process. Another potential problem lies in the scope of the rule-making authority granted by HIPPA: maybe it would authorize the president making new exceptions, but that would be unusual, and if it doesn't authorize him to do it, then it would be overreach, usurping Congress' legislative power.

  4. I agree this is a bit tricky, but something has to be done about guys like Cho and Loughner.

    1. You mean the two guys with mental problems and (at least in Loughner's case) run ins with the police who could have had him adjudicated mentally ill, but were too lazy to utilize the current system to?

      Seems like a problem with practice, not a problem that needs a new law.

    2. There's no justification that makes any sense to violate the civil and human rights of all Americans because a handful do something wrong. Now, if you want to discuss making mental health care more available, while preserving privacy rights, I'd be glad to work with you on that one.

      And don't even try to tell me that I'm just parroting the NRA here. I've shown you my support for improved and expanded health care the whole time I've been commenting on your site.

  5. Mike B, you have obviously never bought a gun at a gun show or on line. In both instances, you have to go through a background check just the same as you would at the local gun shop or WalMart. The are few private sales that "might" happen in the parking lot where there is no background check. I've bought a gun online and did have to go through a background check before picking my new firearm up at my local gun store where it was shipped to. I also paid a nominal fee for the service. I believe it was thirty bucks.