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U.S. House Acts Swiftly To Reverse Gun Control Rules

Lisa Marie Pane
Knox Williams, president and executive director of the Georgia-based American Suppressor Association, poses for a portrait while holding a handgun with a silencer in Atlanta in January.

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill that would roll back regulations on gun silencers that have been on the books for 80 years.

Under those regulations, anyone purchasing a silencer must register it, go through an extensive background check, and get fingerprinted.  

U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat who represents Newtown, says getting rid of these regulations is wrong.  

“It is crazy and dangerous and wrong, and it’s appalling that that has become a top priority as a big giveaway to the gun lobby, right out of the box.”  

Esty says this is just one move by the Republican-controlled Congress and President Donald Trump to promote the interest of gun manufacturers while eroding gun safety rules in the country.  

Earlier this week President Trump signed a Congressional rollback of an Obama-era executive action barring people with severe mental illness from buying guns.  

Esty said, “The very first action is to say, ah, people who have such severe mental health issues, that they can’t function in activities of daily living. That those people should have unfettered access to firearms. That makes no sense.”

The rule originally went into effect in December, but it faced opposition from the National Rifle Association and advocacy groups for the disabled. They say the regulation unfairly stigmatized the disabled and infringed on their constitutional right to bear arms.

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including founding producer of the midday talk show, The Full Story.