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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Stephen Colbert Implies NRA Opposes Mental Health Checks

Tuesday night on the season premiere of CBS’s “The Late Show,” comedian and late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert falsely stated that the National Rifle Association is “opposed to mental health checks,” while discussing the issue of gun control with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Colbert phrased his misleading assertion in the form of a question: “And if mental health checks are opposed by the NRA, how do you fight back?” In truth, the NRA has been urging the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence since 1966.  

More recently, the NRA has supported legislation to ensure that appropriate records of those who have been judged mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to mental institutions be made available for use in firearms transfer background checks. Any suggestion that the NRA opposes such reform is misinformation at best—and likely intentional disinformation.