Letter to the Editor:

The Gun Control Act of 1968 was enhanced in 1993 with the passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The Brady Act created a list of categories of individuals to whom the sale of firearms is prohibited. (18 U.S.C. 922 (d))

The fourth category covers the mentally ill. The Brady Act states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.” 

After the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama moved to enforce the Brandy Act by directing the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries with severe mental disabilities to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. About 75,000 people found mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs would have been affected. 

On Thursday, the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn the Obama administration directive designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.  The repeal will allow those with severe mental disabilities to have guns.  

Congressman John Ratcliffe supported the National Rifle Association position that President Obama’s rule infringed upon Second Amendment rights by denying due process.  Supporters of the rule argued it was designed to stop mentally ill persons from getting firearms.

In a Tweet, Ratcliffe stated, “Today’s vote against Obama’s last minute action to limit Second Amendment rights is a win for #Constitution. A tweet of this nature leaves many of his constituents uninformed about the substance of the issue and the effects of his vote.  

This is beyond reasonable. Keeping guns out of the hands of those with severe mental disabilities is a good thing. Congressman John Ratcliffe needs to explain his vote to repeal the rule that kept our homes and communities safe.  

Judith Matherne

Rockwall