Amid the flurry of reports surrounding President Obama’s expansion of background checks via executive gun control, his Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a new rule allowing doctors to report their patients to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), thereby barring them from purchasing firearms.
According to Politico, the rule is the result of executive orders and recommendations Obama issued/made in 2013 in the aftermath of the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. The rule means “health providers can disclose the information to the background check system without legal repercussions.”
The HHS summary of the rule states:
Among the persons subject to the Federal mental health prohibitor established under the Gun Control Act of 1968 and implementing regulations issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) are individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution; found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity; or otherwise have been determined by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be a danger to themselves or others or to lack the mental capacity to contract or manage their own affairs, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.
This is very similar language used to deny gun ownership to certain Social Security beneficiaries.
The HHS “rule specifically prohibits the disclosure of diagnostic or clinical information, from medical records or other sources, and any mental health information beyond the indication that the individual is subject to the Federal mental health prohibitor.”
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