As preppers and survivalists, one of the topics we spend a significant amount of time discussing is guns. What type to use for what purposes, as well as what types of firearms might be best suited for a specific environment, or for a particular person. Guns, believe it or not, will play an enormous role in any and all TEOTWAWKI type scenarios. The federal government, under the leadership of the Obama administration, continues to look for ways to prevent otherwise law abiding American citizens, from owning guns.
While on yet another 7 figure, taxpayer funded vacation to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays, Obama once again made it known that he wasn’t done trying to grab your guns. This month the Obama administration announced two new proposals to help keep guns out of the hands of American citizens. Sure they used some flowery language to indicate these proposals would only assist in sharing information discovered during background checks, but like everything else this administration states publicly, more remains hidden than transparent. Be prepared to revisit the controlling of guns issue once again as we enter 2014.
“The Obama administration proposed two new gun control regulations aimed at clarifying restrictions on gun ownership for the mentally ill and strengthening a database used for background checks before firearm purchases.
The measures are the latest step in a year-long push by President Barack Obama to tighten U.S. gun laws in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children were killed.
Obama tried last year to bring in sweeping new gun control measures in the aftermath of that shooting, but most of his proposals were defeated in Congress. He has pledged to continue working on the issue despite that setback.
Obama had directed his officials to take steps that do not require approval from Congress, such as Friday’s two proposals.
The first action, proposed by the Department of Justice, would clarify who is prohibited from possessing firearms because of mental illness and would outline for states what information can be shared with the federal database.
The department will seek public comment over the next 90 days about whether the ban should encompass people under the age of 18 who were either adjudicated by a court to be suffering from a serious mental illness, or who were involuntarily treated for a mental illness.
The second measure, led by the Department of Health and Human Services, would remove barriers that could prevent states from passing on information to the database.
“The administration’s two new executive actions will help ensure that better and more reliable information makes its way into the background check system,” the White House said in a statement on Friday.
The proposals have raised concerns from mental health advocates, who fear that people with mental illnesses will not seek care because of concern that their conditions will be entered into federal records.
The database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to check whether a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.
States are encouraged to report to the database the names of people who are not allowed to buy guns because they have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or have been found to have serious mental illnesses by courts.
Many states do not participate. So the administration studied changing a health privacy rule — part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — to remove a potential barrier.
HHS said the new regulation would not require routine mental health visits to be logged — and would apply only to agencies that are not directly involved in treatment.
“Seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm, and nothing in this proposed rule changes that,” HHS said in a statement.
“Furthermore, nothing in this proposed rule would require reporting on general mental health visits or other routine mental health care, or exempt providers solely performing these treatment services from existing privacy rules,” said the department, which will take comments on the regulation for 60 days before finalizing it.”
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