When the month of February ended so did a gun control rule implemented by the Obama administration late last year. The executive rule had required the Social Security Administration to provide records of citizens with mental disabilities to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System—the system used to identify whether an individual is eligible to purchase a firearm. The former president was motivated to take executive action on this issue in response to a commitment he made in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre that left 20 elementary-aged children and several teachers dead. At that time, Obama promised to do everything within his power to prevent such tragedies in the future.
A strong gun lobby prevented congressional legislation from moving forward, so the former president exercised his presidential discretion and signed an executive order to implement the requirement. Now, President Trump has exercised that same presidential discretion to cancel Obama’s order and by doing so, put guns back in the hands of the mentally ill.