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NDRN Statement in Response to Executive Action to Reduce Gun Violence

For Immediate Release         
January 6, 2016                 

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network’s Executive Director, Curt Decker, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s executive action to reduce gun violence:

“While we share President Obama’s desire to reduce gun violence, the National Disability Rights Network believes that some of his executive actions violate the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities.

“The Administration’s plan to use the Social Security Representative Payee database to identify individuals with psychiatric disabilities and place them in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and loosening the privacy of individual’s health records unfairly targets an already vulnerable population.

“People with mental illness routinely face stigma and discrimination in many areas of their lives, including housing, employment, and education. We are deeply concerned that these actions will discourage them from seeking care or assistance out of a fear of being added to the NICS or having their privacy violated.

“In times of fear, people want answers. But there is no research or evidence that connects mental illness with a propensity for violence, indeed people with mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of a violent crime.

“We look forward to working with the Obama Administration and with Congress on real solutions to reduce gun violence while protecting the rights of people with mental illness.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

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