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Greenwald Statement on Congressional Passage of Measure Revoking Mental Health Background Checks for Firearms

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) issued the following statement on Congress’ passage of House Joint Resolution 40, revoking the Social Security Administration rule that helps provide mental health background checks for firearms by requiring the agency to report beneficiaries with severe mental health disabilities to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS):

“This is a shameful move on the part of Congress. This is not about infringing on the second amendment rights of law abiding citizens, but about keeping guns out of the hands of those who might be mentally unfit. By revoking this rule, Congress is putting Americans at risk.

“Over the past decade our nation has seen an epidemic of gun violence, from the mass shooting at Virginia Tech to the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. I met the families from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut after the unimaginable tragedies they suffered. The loss of 20 children and six teachers impacted our nation and strengthened our resolve to protect our communities from gun violence.

“By taking clear and decisive steps to keep firearms out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others we can help prevent tragedies like these and keep our children safe from gun violence. Common sense gun violence prevention measures, like the one Congress is currently trying to revoke, can help save the lives of innocent citizens across the nation.

“This rule has limited scope, provides due process, and protects the privacy of the individuals involved. Not only will revoking this rule put our neighborhoods and communities at risk, but it also prohibits any future administrative action on this issue.

“That is why I introduced a resolution (AR-217) Wednesday to put New Jersey on the right side of this issue. We oppose repealing this regulation, and we urge the President to keep the American people’s safety in mind and not sign this measure into law.”