Congress Weighs in on Linking Benefits to Gun Control—Act Now!

By Dave Dolbee published on in News

A few weeks ago, the Shooter’s Log reported that the Obama Administration is looking for ways to use the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a backdoor form of gun control. Its plan is to report all individuals who receive SSA benefits via an assigned designated fiduciary recipient. In other words, if you receive SSA benefits and elect to have someone manage your money for you, the Administration wants to equate it to being unfit to possess a firearm.

ATF Form 4473

Form 4473 asks for your height, weight, race, and social security number. However, the Obama Administration is now looking to connect SSA benefits to NICS checks for millions.

This is similar in nature to the model employed by the Veteran’s Administration, which reports to NICS as “adjudicated as a mental defective” beneficiaries who have been assigned a “fiduciary” to manage their benefits. This action by the VA has already subjected a little over 175,000 beneficiaries to NICS as prohibited persons, done without a hearing, due process or any other judicial investigation or finding whatsoever—no violent crimes, no violent tendencies or dangerous behaviors to themselves or others, just a stroke of the pen to strip them of their Second Amendment rights.

Upping the ante, the administration would now target 4.2 million more Americans via the SSA with designated “representative payees.”

Daylight on the Horizon?

Is there daylight on the horizon? Well, not exactly. However, the Second Amendment does have its supporters in Congress. For instance, 20 members of Congress led by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means, sent a letter to Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security. The letter pointed out the danger and folly of such action as a “dangerous overreach.”

The letter also puts the Acting Commissioner Colvin on the spot by requesting confirmation of whether or not the SSA intended to pursue the policy. Either way, the Representatives urged the SSA “to abandon any such plan.” Perhaps the letter isn’t the strongest effort, but it is at least a step in the right direction.

SSA Responds

In a letter dated Aug 7, the SSA (Ms. Colvin) responded stating that the “SSA has not provided any names of beneficiaries to the NICS and is not considering sending names based solely on the beneficiaries having representative payees.” That is the good news. The bad news is that Colvin also included a statement that the SSA is currently determining how “[it] must comply with our NICS reporting obligations under Federal law” and “are looking at possible implementation scenarios.” None of those scenarios, according to Colvin, “would refer all SSA beneficiaries with representative payees to the NICS.”

Analysis

Colvin is a bureaucrat, which does not automatically make her untrustworthy, but you have to read between the lines to see some of the danger in her response. For instance, Colvin never said the representative payee would not be used for NICS, just that it would not be the “sole determinant” and not “all” such beneficiaries with representative payees would be reported. That leaves a lot of wiggle room for a bureaucrat. Nor does it address or eliminate the possibility of using some other half-baked criteria to strip recipients of their Second Amendment rights.

Senate Responds

On Aug. 7, 2015, 28 Senators also took up the matter. Led by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) the letter expressed concern and inquired about the SSA’s intention to report beneficiaries with representative payees to NICS—similar to Rep. Johnson’s. “It is not at all clear, how this misguided intention is intended to be carried out, or how SSA will serve as adjudicator of risks posed by beneficiaries utilizing its representative payee system.” The letter went on to request a report “on the basis for SSA’s intention to develop such a plan.” Further, the letter admonished, “Old age or a disability does not make someone a threat to society,” and closed by urging SSA “to halt any steps to provide information on Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income recipients to the NICS.”

NRA-ILA logo

The NRA-ILA is fighting for your rights. Whether or not you choose to support the NRA-ILA, Second Amendment Foundation, National Association of Gun Rights or others as your primary organization(s) defend the Second Amendment by getting involved.

The NRA is actively engaging members of Congress for preemptive solutions. As a result, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2002. The bill seeks to halt the VA, SSA or any other agency from reporting individuals to NICS without proper due process that legally determines an individual a danger to themselves or others.

Stand Up and Be Heard!

In the meantime, if you have not already registered your concern, your senators and representatives need your support. If they are against the Second Amendment they need to hear you displeasure! Let them know your opinion on the use of the VA and SSA as a wedge to force individuals to choose between benefits and the Second Amendment. You can use the “Write Your Lawmakers” feature at NRAILA.org or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

How do you feel about using the administration’s new proposed criteria as data for NICS checks? Share your opinions in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (89)

  • abelhorn

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    It would appear that the federal government is trying to start a war with its

    own people.

    DO THEY NOT KNOW THEY CAN NOT WIN ?

    Hell they have not won since WW II.

    Reply

  • steve b.

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    Its enough to make my blood boil.Spending money habits linked to benes? Who the do they think they are? Soviets? This behavior is exactly what an out of control gov. practices.Obama an co. would turn this place into Venezuela given the chance.Crap they may have done it already.19 trillion=I cant count that high.Read Levin

    Reply

    • vector16

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      Actually, the total US Debt is $62,262,711,XXX,XXX. And you thought that $19,000,000,000,000 was bad. This is something that our Great, Great Grand children will be paying off.

      Why are we giving all this money to foreign countries like Iran, China, MX, Brazil, Columbia, etc..? shouldn’t they be paying us so we don’t destroy them?

      Reply

  • Mikial

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    This just never ends, does it. Every time some fellow gun owner tells me I’m going overboard on fighting gun control, I just shake my head.

    I sent the NRA letter, but our problem here in Virginia is that we have two Socialist senators elected by wealthy liberals and welfare recipients up in Fairfax County on the border with greater Nazi Maryland. The same problem got us stuck with our worthless governor.

    Fortunately, the state legislature is strong with conservatives that protect our rights here in the state, but we’re screwed at the Federal level. We have a great Congressman, but our senators should be shipped off to Europe where they belong.

    Reply

  • vector16

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    This effort to deny people of their 2nd amendment right to bare arms without any kind of due process is absurd and will not be tolerated by any of the law abiding citizens or any of the armed service members returning from a war that you sent them to fight. Now you are punishing these fine men and women coming back by telling them that they no longer have the right to defend their home, themselves and their family because they were in a war and lost a limb or worse. How dare you treat any American in such a disrespectful fashion. Yet you have made possession of stolen firearms that are recovered on known gang members and felons a misdemeanor. This is wrong and if this passes all of you need to be impeached and relieved of your duties as OUR representatives’. You are not representing the people of this country, you are representing yourself and your own personal agenda.

    Reply

    • vector16

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      What pisses me off is that Mimi Walters, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer are not only the three biggest commi pieces of sh%# in the entire congress but, they are also the ones that think because you add a pistol grip to a shotgun it makes fully automatic. and the bullet button on an AR is what makes the gun become a grenade launcher.

      Reply

    • Sam Vonn

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      The leftist Executive branch of our govt won’t attack the crime problem and VALID mental health issues. They are after the patriots and wounded who served this country. Shame Shame Shame Political correctness has paralyzed rational thought.

      Reply

  • G-Man

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    I feel a sense of vindication by this report. For the past couple of Shooter’s Log articles I have attempted to bring awareness to forum members by specifically citing this exact same unlawful reporting of Vets into NICS and that it would happen to Social Security recipients next. I even elaborated as to how it was being done without any form of lawful adjudication; all only to be met with arguments by a few knuckleheads that were in denial that it was ever even happening, or to such a large scale. They challenged me to show proof, yet even after I had, their bruised egos refused to allow them to concede they were wrong and instead began to question the reputability of my proof. I won’t mention any names (mainly “Wzrd1”, “Viper002A22” and “psychovet”) but you all know who you are.

    Reply

    • Mikial

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      Amen, Brother!

      I can’t believe how many gun owners refuse to accept that we are under attack. I can’t count the number of times someone has called me a fanatic for resisting gun control. Yeah, there are nuances and degrees of gun control, but one thing you can take to the bank . . . the government wants us disarmed. Period.

      I begin to wonder if some of these people are actually genuine gun owners, or if they are simply Liberal plants who get on the forums to try to use propaganda to divide us and lull us into a false sense of security that the government is our friend.

      Reply

    • Sam Vonn

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      There are paid trolls on every 2nd amendment and conservative website. They have ruined The Daily Caller. The trolls use different names everywhere they go, but their style is identifiable. George Soros funded losers.

      Reply

  • Galaxie_Man

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    1). Refuse to answer any such questions, or leave them blank on the forms. My wife and I have been doing this the last couple of times we went to the doctor. The office has been told we will only answer questions directly involving the medical issue at hand.

    2). If they insist you answer….LIE!

    Reply

    • Mikial

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      You do not have to tell any doctor whether you own guns or anything else. When I go to a doctor and that question is on the paperwork, I go up and chew them out for invading my privacy, and then go find a different doctor.

      Reply

  • THOMAS

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    This is the issue of this bill is pled by any member of congress they need to be removed by the voters at once.I personally an never voting for Thad Cocran in Miss.again he has proven him self to be a traitor not only to the People’s of MISS. , but also to the people of AMERICA!

    Reply

  • Secundius

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    All Congress need’s is 290 Votes, or Greater too Override the Presidential Memorandum. It remain to be Seen if they can get it. Personally, I don’t think they can…

    Reply

  • PeteDub

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    If the VA is in fact making such reports to NCIS, it is fraudulent.

    “Adjudicated” means exactly what it says — ruled on by an ACTUAL judge in an ACTUAL case, with all the rules of evidence and due process. Mere designation of a fiduciary does not meet that definition. Period.

    Reply

    • Joe Rhodes

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      Correct.

      Reply

  • Mark

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    I think the VA has senior citizens, or their POA, agree to not having firearms in the house, before benefits are provided. My Mom gets a benefit check each month for my Dad having served in WW2. My parents didn’t own any weapons, but I’m just saying.

    Reply

    • Joe Rhodes

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      No.

      My Mom just went through applying for my Dad’s benefits as a survivor and was never asked any questions about firearms.

      Reply

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