Monday, March 06, 2017

Hardly anyone noticed last week when Trump rolled back an Obama regulation on gun control

Trump, almost daily, has been showing off
measures he has signed. (AP photo by Alex Brandon)
While President Trump has held photo-ops for most of the laws and orders he has signed, behind closed doors on Tuesday he "quietly signed a measure that killed a regulation enacted by the Obama administration to tighten gun background checks," James Hohmann reports for The Washington Post. That same day he publicly signed two other resolutions.

"The rule required the Social Security Administration to send over the names of people who receive government checks for being mentally disabled and others who have been deemed unable to handle their own financial affairs to the FBI office that runs the national background check database," Hohmann writes. "This is a universe of about 75,000 people. The National Rifle Association says the rule curtails the Second Amendment rights of these people and persuaded GOP leadership to use the Congressional Review Act to undo it. Under the Constitution, Trump had 10 days to sign off. By waiting until the day before the deadline to do so, when there were so many big stories in the mix, he ensured it got minimal coverage."

Hohmann notes, "In a normal time, with a conventional president, undoing this regulation would have been front-page news. Trump’s move would have sparked a national conversation about the country’s continuing failure to seriously address both gun violence and mental illness. Major publications would have run deeper stories about how flawed the national background check system is five years after the massacre at Sandy Hook, with an emphasis on the gun lobby’s role in keeping it that way."

"But in the current news environment, with the Trump administration running a blitzkrieg offense and the attorney general embattled for concealing secret meetings with the Russian ambassador while under oath before Congress, it’s very hard for anyone to stay on top of everything," he writes. "Not only does the media have limited bandwidth, but cable producers are always reluctant to give much airtime to issues that don’t have obvious visuals."

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