Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Grandma Got Run Over by Obama: SSA Finalizes New Gun Prohibition Rule

Friday, December 23, 2016

Grandma Got Run Over by Obama: SSA Finalizes New Gun Prohibition Rule

On Monday, Barack Obama’s Social Security Administration (SSA) issued the final version of a rule that will doom tens of thousands of law-abiding (and vulnerable) disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to a loss of Second Amendment rights under the guise of re-characterizing them as “mental defectives.” The SSA, for the first time in its history, will be coopted into the federal government’s gun control apparatus, effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health problems

Barack Obama’s political party and the presidential candidate he personally endorsed and campaigned for suffered perhaps the most dramatic rebuke in the history of American politics with the election of Donald J. Trump. Far from being humbled or chastened, however, Obama is spending the waning days of his presidency releasing duly convicted felons from prison, making low-level appointments, and pushing pet policy projects, all to do something, anything, to leave his stamp after a lackluster tenure.

The Social Security rule is the final version of a proposal that we reported on earlier this year. Public outcry against the proposed rule was fierce, and the comment period drew over 91,000 responses, the vast majority of them opposing the plan.

The NRA itself submitted detailed comments, taking the proposed rule to task for its many legal problems, its lack of empirical support, and the way it would politicize the SSA’s functions and stigmatize its beneficiaries.

The SSA, however, essentially ignored the NRA’s comments and the tens of thousands of others pointing out problems with the plan and issued a final rule that in most key respects tracks the original proposal.

For example, the SSA did not attempt to answer most of the legal questions raised about its authority, instead deferring to an overbroad and problematic ATF regulation defining who counts under the federal Gun Control Act as a “mental defective” and to Department of Justice guidance on reporting. The SSA did not explain why, some two decades after the federal background check system came online, it was reversing its earlier determination about its reporting responsibilities and only now asserting a mandate to do so.

Incredibly, the SSA also brushed aside empirical evidence the NRA submitted suggesting that the proposed rule would have no public safety benefit. “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence,” the SSA wrote. “Rather, we are complying with our obligations under the NIAA, which require us to provide information from our records when an individual falls within one of the categories identified in 18 U.S.C. 922(g).” This would seem to be the very definition of the sort of arbitrary and capricious rulemaking prohibited by the Administrative Procedures Act.

The SSA also insisted that it was not stigmatizing those who receive disability insurance or SSI for mental health conditions, arguing that the names of the beneficiaries reported to NICS would not be made public. What the administration ignores is that it would stigmatize the entire category of beneficiaries subject to reporting.

The administration further acknowledges that the rule would not provide those subject to its terms the ability to defend their suitability to possess firearms before the actual loss of rights took place. In other words, it offers no due process on the question of losing Second Amendment rights.

Instead, the rule forces affected beneficiaries to file a petition for “restoration” of rights and to somehow prove their possession of firearms would not harm public safety or the public interest, even though the government never established, or tried to establish, the contrary. Regarding the expense of the psychological and medical evaluations required for this purpose, the administration claims it should be “reasonable,” although it does not and cannot claim it will actually be affordable to those who are affected by the rule.

The major parameters of the final rule are the same as those we detailed in an earlier alert on the proposal. It will affect those who receive SSI or disability insurance because of a listed mental health impairment and who have been assigned a representative payee to manage the benefits because of the person’s mental condition. The bottom line, however, is that tens of thousands of completely harmless, law-abiding people will lose their rights every year under the rule, a premise the SSA did not even try to refute.

The NRA has already prepared proposals for corrective action, and we certainly hope they will be given favorable consideration by the incoming administration.

In the meantime, this is one more reminder of the petty, partisan politics of Barack Obama, and one more reason to be thankful that in a few short weeks, he will no longer wield the power of the presidency against the nation’s law-abiding gun owners.

TRENDING NOW
ATF Proposed Rule a Blatant Attack on American Gun Industry

News  

Saturday, May 8, 2021

ATF Proposed Rule a Blatant Attack on American Gun Industry

Two weeks ago we reported on a leaked document that appeared to be a new ATF proposed rule to amend several key definitions in federal firearm regulations

Washington: Second Amendment Banned in First Amendment Spaces After the Signing of Anti-Gun Measure

Friday, May 14, 2021

Washington: Second Amendment Banned in First Amendment Spaces After the Signing of Anti-Gun Measure

On Wednesday, despite the thousands of calls, emails, and other communication from NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters, Senate Bill 5038 advanced out of the legislature and was signed into law

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Resurrected, Passes House

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Resurrected, Passes House

Yesterday, House Bill 1092, to expand Illinois’ program of suspending Second Amendment rights without due process, was resurrected after it previously had been re-referred to the House Rules Committee.

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.

Texas: Constitutional Carry Bill Heading to Conference Committee

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Texas: Constitutional Carry Bill Heading to Conference Committee

The Texas House has sent House Bill 1927, constitutional carry legislation sponsored by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), to a conference committee to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

Nevada: Gun Ban Bill Passes Committee, Headed to the Senate Floor

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Nevada: Gun Ban Bill Passes Committee, Headed to the Senate Floor

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Assembly Bill 286 with an amendment, to end the centuries old practice of making firearms for personal use.

Texas: Senate Passes HB 1927

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Texas: Senate Passes HB 1927

Early this evening, after more than 6 hours of debate and discussion on more than two dozen amendments, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 1927, constitutional carry legislation, on an 18-13 vote.

NRA-Backed Open Carry Bill Passes South Carolina General Assembly

News  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

NRA-Backed Open Carry Bill Passes South Carolina General Assembly

Called the most significant firearm bill to pass in South Carolina is more than 20 years, the General Assembly as sent HB 3094, an Open Carry bill, to the Governor for signature. 

New York Times Throws ATF Pity Party

News  

Monday, May 10, 2021

New York Times Throws ATF Pity Party

The publication of a lengthy New York Times or Washington Post opinion piece disguised as news that commiserates about the purportedly beleaguered state of the ever-so valiant Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

NICS Numbers Tell a Story

News  

Monday, May 10, 2021

NICS Numbers Tell a Story

NICS numbers rise. Readers know the rest. Self-reliance and firearms ownership are time-honored American traditions.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.