NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Congressman Sam Johnson Introduces Bill to Protect Social Security Recipients From the Obama Administration’s Most Ambitious (and Outrageous) Gun Grab to Date

Friday, September 18, 2015

Congressman Sam Johnson Introduces Bill to Protect Social Security Recipients From the Obama Administration’s Most Ambitious  (and Outrageous) Gun Grab to Date

On Wednesday, Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) introduced H.R. 3516, the “Social Security Beneficiary 2nd Amendment Rights Protection Act.” The purpose of the bill is to protect recipients of Social Security from being forced to choose between benefits to which they are legally entitled and their Second Amendment rights.

Since July, we’ve been reporting on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) plan to use “representative payee” assignments as a basis for reporting SSA beneficiaries to NICS as prohibited “mental defectives.” A representative payee is simply a person who is appointed by the SSA to receive the disbursement of benefits on behalf of the beneficiary.

According to a former SSA attorney we interviewed about the process, beneficiaries themselves usually initiate the representative payee process as a matter of convenience. With many beneficiaries living in remote areas or having conditions that limit their mobility, they often need help with chores like banking and shopping. The attorney indicated that the assignment of a representative payee is almost always a cooperative process that involves no third-party adjudicator and has no necessary connection to a person’s propensity for dangerous or violent behavior. Yet according to the LA Times reporter who originally broke the story, millions of SSA beneficiaries could potentially be affected, which would make this the biggest gun grab in American history.

Adding to concerns about SSA’s recent move is the Veteran’s Administration’s (VA) current practice of reporting to NICS as “mental defectives” all beneficiaries assigned a “fiduciary” to receive benefits on their behalf. Like the SSA process, this does not typically involve any sort of adjudication, nor does it require the agency to find the beneficiary poses a danger to self or others. Nearly 180,000 VA beneficiaries are affected by this designation, which presumptively bans them from exercising their Second Amendment rights for the rest of their lives.

Rep. Johnson’s bill would conclusively resolve these concerns for Social Security beneficiaries by specifying, “No determination by the Commissioner of Social Security with respect to an individual, including a determination that benefits under this title to which such individual is entitled shall be paid to a representative payee, shall be considered to be a determination that the individual has been adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of [the mental health provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968].”

Not only would this protect beneficiaries with representative payees, it would ensure that SSA could not report its beneficiaries to NICS as prohibited “mental defectives” under any pretext. It short, it would give them peace of mind that one of America’s largest and most important entitlement programs could not be used as a pretext to abolish one of its most cherished and important constitutional rights.

Besides the NRA, the bill has also been given a positive review by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disabilities and their families. According to the NCD, “linking the need for a representative payee with a presumption of incapacity to exercise any right sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the goals of the [Americans With Disabilities Act]: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.” NCD also noted it has been warning the Obama Administration since 2013 that “needing a representative payee to assist with receiving and managing Social Security benefits should not be grounds for an inference that the individual is incapable of exercising his or her rights.” Even more specifically, “NCD cautioned against linking this status to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”

The NRA thanks Rep. Johnson for his leadership in this vital effort and urges all of its members to contact their congressional representatives and strongly urge them to support the Social Security Beneficiary 2nd Amendment Rights Protection Act. You can do so through the Write Your Lawmakers feature on the ILA website or by calling the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

TRENDING NOW
California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

News  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

This feature appears in the October ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. “Why can’t everyone just have their DNA on file? Then it would ...

California: Referendum Update

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

California: Referendum Update

On behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA), we would like to thank all of the volunteers and individuals who participated in the Veto Gunmageddon ballot referendum qualification effort.  Despite the tremendous efforts of all involved, ...

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

There is no greater danger to American liberty and to the security of our nation than a Hillary Clinton administration. To see the future if Clinton were to take the White House, look no further ...

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

This year’s race for the White House is like no other in our history. Hillary Clinton has made it clear that, if elected, she will come after our firearm freedoms on her very first day ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.