Senator Chuck Grassley

With emotions raw following last week’s deadly Florida high school shootings, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there’s some misinformation being spread about his actions on a gun-related bill.

Almost a year ago, President Trump signed a bill into law — which Grassley authored — eliminating an Obama-era rule that would have added thousands of names to the list of people banned from buying guns.

Grassley says, “Not one name sent to this gun ban list by the Social Security Administration would’ve been deemed mentally ill.” The original measure would have barred people from buying guns if Social Security determined they could no longer handle their own finances. Critics, including some on Twitter, claim Grassley’s follow-up legislation made it easier for people with a mental illness to buy guns, but Grassley says that’s just not the case.

Grassley says, “I sponsored this resolution of disapproval because it unfairly stigmatized Americans with a mental disability.” The original bill would have allowed a clerk at Social Security to determine if someone would lose their constitutional right to own a gun, Grassley says, just because they needed help handling their money.

“Here’s the most important thing about why these twitters are wrong that you’re quoting,” Grassley says. “It was supported by 20 civil rights and disability advocates organizations, including the ACLU and the National Council on Disabilities.” The Obama-era regulation threatened to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Social Security disability beneficiaries without affording due process, according to Grassley.

Obama first offered the rule in a 2013 memo after the shootings at Sandy Hook and it took partial effect in December of 2016. Trump signed the law reversing the rule in February of 2017. Had it taken full effect, some 75-thousand names would have been added to the national gun-ban database.