Claire McCaskill, the former Democratic Senator from Missouri who lost re-election to Josh Hawley in 2018, has settled in well to her new role as an NBC News political analyst. The woman whose final pitch to the voters in 2018 was “I’m not one of those crazy Democrats” now spends her time on cable television lying about the Trump Administration’s record on guns.
On a Thursday segment of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, McCaskill repeated the debunked lie that the Trump Administration made it easier for people with mental illnesses to buy guns:
Yeah, and let me point something out here that is really bad. Donald Trump is letting the NRA control his administration behind the curtain. There was a regulation put in place by the Obama administration which makes a lot of sense, that if you have been determined to be mentally disabled and therefore receive Social Security payments for a mental disability, where there has to be proof of a mental disability, it made it harder for you to get a gun. Not impossible, but harder. There were more hoops you had to jump through, more showings that you had to show that you were safe and not a threat to yourself and others. The Obama administration put that reg in. The Trump administration removed it. So they have made it easier, not harder, for people who have mental disabilities to get guns. So when he stands in front of cameras and lies like he does every ten minutes and says, "we want to make it harder for people with mental illnesses to get guns," this administration with the NRA pulling the puppet strings has done the exact opposite.
This is an outright lie. A CNN fact check of the claim states “claiming that Trump made it easier for those with a mental illness to access firearms is an overstatement that ignores what the regulation did and who it affected.”
The Obama administration's rule, which took effect two days before Trump's inauguration, restricted people who required help managing government benefits and had a mental impairment from buying guns, including those with eating disorders, cognitive impairments, and depression. The Social Security Administration was required to submit anyone to the federal background check database if they received assistance managing their benefits from a representative payee.
The NRA, ACLU, and 23 disability groups opposed the regulation and supported its repeal on the grounds that it restricted the civil liberties of Americans with disabilities. The rule, which the Trump Administration repealed, did not alter federal law which prohibits individuals "who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been committed to any mental institution" from owning a firearm.
But never let the narrative get in the way of facts for Claire McCaskill and MSNBC.