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Fake News: SELF Magazine Claims Trump Ended Background Checks for the Severely Mentally Ill

On February 28, President Trump signed the repeal of Barack Obama’s Social Security gun ban. On March 2, SELF magazine reported that Trump had ended firearm background checks for persons who were severely mentally ill.

This is Fake News 101 and it is a mantra that many other mainstream outlets have also pushed.

For example, also on March 2, NBC News reported that Trump ended firearm “gun checks for people with mental illness” and during the process of repealing of the ban NYT, NYDN, and HuffPost accused Republicans of helping the mentally ill get guns.

Now it is SELF magazine’s turn.

According to SELF:

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Tuesday nullifying a regulation that made it more difficult for people with severe mental illnesses to purchase guns. The regulation, which was issued by the Social Security Administration and finalized in December 2016, added people who receive Social Security money for mental illnesses and those who have been deemed unable to handle their own financial affairs to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

As with most Fake News, SELF’s reporting takes a mixture of statements that are true and false and presents them all as true.

The truth they report is that the Social Security gun ban meant that beneficiaries who needed help with their finances would be treated as suspect by the Social Security Administration and could have their Second Amendment rights taken away. What SELF did not report is that mental illness is a blanket statement that covers myriad maladies, many of which never result in danger to one’s self or to others, but all of which are treated the same under the Social Security gun ban.

This is why Duke Psychiatry professor Jeffery Swanson said Obama’s Social Security gun ban targeted “the vulnerable” instead of the dangerous. Moreover, writing in the Washington Post, Swanson explained that the ban “[takes] away the gun rights of a large category of individuals without any evidence that they pose a risk of harm to self or others.”

Trump and Republican lawmakers recognized the dangers posed by the ban — that it threatened Second Amendment rights and Due Process. The White House also expressed concern that the ban would jeopardize Second Amendment rights for persons with disabilities.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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