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)

  • Mike

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    So now you are a “big shot”? LOL, make up your mind. You are nothing but a fake! I bet you are sitting in your mom’s basement counting your food stamps!

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Mike,

      No, I didn’t suddenly become a “big shot”, you have suddenly just learned that I am one. There is a difference.

      Again, you are new to posting here whereas I have been on these forums for years. I have overwhelming established who I am in this community and been vetted off-line by many forum members. So stop wasting everyone’s time with the “in your Mom’s basement line”. It’s old, boring, and unimaginative, but not as expected from someone like you.

      Next…

      Reply

  • AZLE, TX.

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    A few years ago a Deputy showed up at my place on a gun fire call. No restrictions on shooting on your own property hear in Wise County. Because I found cover behind his cruiser’s bullet absorbing engine block area, he told me I was crazy and ordered me to report to the VA shrink.
    I reported to the VA shrink in Ft. Worth alright. I passed the written crazy questionaire but reported him to the VA shrink for “Practicing medicine without a license.” After all he’s a Law Enforcement Officer and NOT a real Doctor capable of making Medical referrals.
    Either that Deputy wanted me (without his style vest) to catch a stray round or or wanted my guns taken away if diagnosed with PTSD.

    Reply

  • Chris Miller

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    I am tired of these jackasses in Congress linking guns to killings, MY guns have never killed anyone , isn’t this amassing? WTF are these ass-wipes thinking..??? If they would put the trillions they spent on the last fake war on terrorism into our metal health system then many of these gun killing most likely would have NOT happened. Its the people that kill people NOT ANY ONE”s guns. But they prefer to line the pockets of the Bilderberg group whom own all the utilities, shipping along with all the oil and natural gas, yes these are the corrupt evil people of this world not a good law abiding citizen like us. So these Builderberg group want toalt control over the USA and world , how to get it, by making up stupid statements like ” Guns kill” this is what their media is told to print and show on TV, people eat this up and try to get laws passed to take our guns away. ASK why FEMA has purchased 6 billion bullets and have concentration camps all over the USA and Canada, surly not for the illegal Mexicans coming over or they would be full, they are all presently empty, no my friends its for us the one that will not go along with the Bilderberg’s group’s new word order, if U don’t do as they ask you go to these jails. If you don’t believe me Google FEMA concentration amps in the USA.
    Keep you guns clean and plenty of ammo in stock because its coming, this new world order! That’s why I predict Hillary Clinton, the most screwed up woman to be in congress, will be put in as our new lady president. WATCH OUT IF THIS HPPENDS, she has a laws from across seas that will kill our 2nd amendment tow own guns, that will come into affect in her 2nd term, yes 2nd term and pass this and many laws against the USA citizens so the greedy Bilderberg group take control of everything.
    Have a nice day!!! :)

    Reply

    • ThisSide^

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      @ Chris Miller.

      Actually it was 1.6-Billion Round, NOT 6-Billion Round. 450-Million of which are “Dum Dum’s” use mostly for Training. 800-FEMA Camp were reduced to 390-Camps because of Inactivity in those Camp. Some are used for Holding Undocumented Aliens, waiting to be Deported. Other’s are used to Stock-Pile Food, Clothes, Water, Blankets. And Ancillary Detention Center, went Local-Jails get to Over Crowded with Inmates.

      Reply

  • Mike

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    Wow, talk about uninformed! Anyone that has served in the military gets VA medical benefits. My father served 3 yrs stateside & was never injured. He gets free VA benefits!
    You also know nothing about subsidizing wages. If a company pays such low wages that people qualify for welfare, that is how a corporation gets their payroll subsidized. Get your head out of your @ss!

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Mike,

      How pathetic of you to think so poorly of your own father knowing he couldn’t qualify for a job at Burger King and instead chose to free-load off the benefits provided by military service. You deserve such self-imposed shame; especially when you had to tell him to GET A JOB!

      You are of very weak character when in one instance you show incredible disdain for these military free-loaders in your posts, yet fall back on your own father’s military experience when you think it will prop up your position in your losing debate… quite pitiful actually.

      People that play off of others experiences, like you did your father’s, when attempting to prove they know a thing are feeble-minded at best. I on the other hand am a 33 year Vet and therefore know unequivocally that you know nothing about this topic. It simply never was an argument.

      Moreover, you look the fool to any other Vets that may be reading your garbage; especially having to fall back on a daddy story and thinking it made a difference. If you ever do get over the shame you feel for your father and eventually rebuild your relationship, maybe you can ask him how the VA really works. At which point you’ll be embarrassed to discover that there are certain VA benefits, (such as college tuition, home loans) that he qualified for, but NEVER any lifetime medical unless connected with a service proven disability.

      So after having totally demolished any hope of a comeback for you, I’ll spare you the “subsidy” portion of your losing argument. Ta-ta…

      Reply

    • Mike

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      Wow it took you all day to write that bs, or did someone write it for you? You were in the military for 33 yrs? So YOU couldn’t get a REAL job & mooched off tax payers for 33 yrs!
      Getting back to the original topic… You seem so upset that poor people are getting a few dollars a month for food, yet you say nothing about corporations getting billions in welfare! Maybe if you stopped watching Fox (Fake) News you might learn how the real world works!

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Mike

      Maybe it took you all day to read it, but mere moments for me to write it.

      I can see you are not a regular on these forums or you’d know I have a dual military and law enforcement career as a federal agent that spans 33 years and counting. So the operative wording is not past tense as you put it, “were in the military”, given that I am still serving in both capacities.

      And while I am close to reaching retirement, I have earned my way pretty high up into the policy making realm which affects your daily life as an authority and policy advisor to Senators and Cabinet level members. I even wrote a few laws and am published in the Library of Congress.

      So if you consider that mooching then so be it. It must frustrate a person like you to know you have no choice but to continually contribute to my paycheck, vacations, medical, and ultimately lifetime retirement without a say in any of it.

      And while my kids don’t know you personally, I am certain they are thankful to you for contributing into their college benefits I transferred to them through the V.A.

      As for getting back to the “original topic”, I never deviated. You did in order to duck your daddy issues.

      Reply

  • Jerry

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    “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.”

    What are the NICS reporting obligations under Federal Law?

    What we need to do is change the NICS laws or regulations and limit the effect of said laws and regulations on law abiding citizens and apply the4th Amendment and the 5th Amendment and be Considered Innocent Until they are Proven Guilty in a court of law.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Jerry,

      There really is no need to change the laws which established NICS. All Constitutional protections are intact and no new laws are needed. The problem is the Constitution is simply being ignored by Obama who has sidestepped it through his abuse of Executive Actions; and Congress is too afraid to counteract Obama for fear of tarnishing their historical legacy by impeaching the “First Black President” over it. So Vets continue to be abused.

      With no one in Congress with balls or ovaries large enough to shut Obama down, he has since moved on to his next conquest which is to do the same thing he’s done with the V.A. by directing that Social Security recipients also be unlawfully added to NICS.

      However, this time around a few Senators were preemptively alerted. And while Congress is still too cowardly to go directly after Obama on the matter, they have instead decided to put pressure on the Social Security Commissioner by sending a few lame notice letters.

      The backstory is that no law can compel the States to report into this federal created NICS system. Most States refuse to contribute anyway because they feel they are protecting their citizens’ rights. This is why Obama thinks he can get even and make up the difference by picking on people defendant upon federal benefits such as the V.A. and Social Security recipients.

      It’s evil and just wrong, and the spineless cowards in Congress are allowing Obama to get away with it in order to spare their own historical legacies. As the old saying goes, “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.”

      I hope this helps clarify a few things.

      Reply

    • Jerry

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      I disagree G Man. I did not agree with the Brady law when it passed in 1993, and don’t agree with it today. We are talking about meany people that may be physically ill not physiology ill. There is no need to take their weapons because of a physical ailment that prevents them from managing their money or house holds. There is no reason for a vet that’s in a wheelchair to lose his Second Amendment Rights just because he cant go to the bank.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Jerry,

      Unless I am misunderstanding, it appears you are under the impression portions of the Brady Law mandates that persons physically unable to manage their finances or personal affairs are to be automatically added to NICS and thusly stripped of their right to bear arms.

      This is simply not the case as a matter of law. However that scenario is precisely what Obama is executing the law.

      The actual Brady Law requires a full adjudication to have taken place and the person found guilty well before their name is ever authorized to be added into the NICS database. Proper adjudication is a long process which allows for appeals. Yet Obama has instead disregarded this law and has directed that any persons receiving V.A. benefits, whether adjudicated or not, be added to NICS if they require help with their finances.

      Now as for the entire Brady Bill, I’m with you, I think it and NICS should be done away with all together. But even as Brady exists, Obama is still in unlawful violation of that law and no Congressman has the cojones to step up to the plate and shut him down.

      That leaves Obama clear to start in after the Social Security recipients as well now.

      Reply

  • buck eye

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    Look guys we all know of the right to sell your owned property, however I go back to my early years, first of all I am a combat veteran, four battels purple heart recipiant , Vietnam which might get me a free cup of coffe I have never in my life broke the law. BUT selling a gun to someone you dont know without a background check is not very smart that person my be a felon, you name it, I gave up my guns because the VA, deemed me a person who should not have a weapon, without a trail by jury or a judge in my districe you know PTSD plus my battle field wounds, I caint see this as legal However I obeyed the Law, this one thing selling a gun to anyone without a background check could be a great bargining deal to give all good law abidding citizens, to be able to own a self defense weapon,stop the sell of weapons without a back ground check, I have seen a few years back mexicans with a roll of 100.00 usd buying sks you name it. I love this country I fought for my rights which includes the 2nd amendment . Now everything has been taken away from me you dont take a knife to a gun fight thats is what I HAVE TO PROTECT MY FAMILY A KNIFE,

    Reply

    • Jerry

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      @ buck eye.
      First off, thank you for you service. Your case is exactly why we need to join together and fight for yours and our rights. The NRA is good, but the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is also a good origination that is a protector of the Second Amendment. As is the Second Amendment Foundation. Both the CCRKBA and the SAF provide legal assistance for cases like yours. You can find them on the net.
      As to the privet selling of fire arm weapons. The majority of sales (90 percent) are to people the sellers know, like a friend, or neighbor. The 10 percent of sales to a stranger are normally made to strangers with a good back ground, like collectors. Of those 10 percent of sales to unknown buyers, only about 10 percent of them are to people that use the weapon for illegal activity. Those are normally in higher populated areas of the nation, like Chicago.
      My point, please don’t believe all the bad reports about privet gun sales you see or hear on the news networks, they have an agenda take our guns, as you are will aware.

      From a Granada (Operation Regent Furry), Panama (Operation Just Cause), and the First Gulf war (Operation Desert Storm) vet.

      Reply

  • Mike

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    There are lots of working poor that are paid low wages. So in fact we the tax payers are subsidizing companies for paying low wages.
    Also, I don’t believe that veterans that “served” for a couple yrs because they couldn’t get a job @ Burger King, deserve to have Medical benefits paid for life by tax payers. GET A JOB!

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Mike,

      Wrong. If the companies were being subsidized, they’d get the welfare checks and debit cards in their mailbox, instead it goes directly to all the crackheads’ mailboxes. And it isn’t a low wage, it is a fair wage – because you get paid what your worth. You only get out of life what you are willing to put into it. So stop crying for the crackheads just because they dropped out of school.

      Also, you have no business commenting on a topic you obviously know nothing about. If you did, you’d know the only way to receive V.A. medical benefits is as a result of an injury while serving your country. That is a far cry from the crackheads that get free medical just for breathing or illegally crossing our border.

      You have it all backwards; crackheads have to slop your burgers at Burger King because they can’t qualify to serve their own country in the Armed Forces.

      Reply

  • Mike

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    But the GOP thinks it’s ok to link benefits to drug testing. When all it’s really doing is giving our tax dollars to drug testing companies owned by the GOP politicians!

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Mike,

      Please do yourself a favor and learn to distinguish between V.A. and Social Security benefits, both of which must be hard earned. You seem to have confused hard working American earned entitlements with liberal government freebies and handouts given to crackheads just for existing and of which is based on the total number of illegitimate kids they can pop out. There is a big difference.

      Reply

  • Chickenhawk

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    To my Brothers in Arms, until everyone in this foreign muslim run admin is dead by bloody coup we have no one to fear but ourselves!

    Reply

  • Bob

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    Sadly the “DUMB MAJORITY” is running the “US of A” into a deep hole of worthlessness.This once great nation is no longer the country the world respects and trusts.

    “We The People” are no longer served by the people we voted for and trusted to run this country the right way.

    “We The People” are now serving our elected “Masters in Washington”. Who only serve themselves.Too many of the “DUMB MAJORITY”, are too busy with their own life problems to concern themselves with the running of this nation and it’s problems.Thus the continued lowering of the American standard of living. The “bar of life” that was once set high in America, is now so low, you need to crawl on your belly to get under it.

    There are too few of us “SMART MINORITY” to make the changes this country needs to put America back on top. Our numbers are too few to make the difference with a vote.The only way for the “SMART MINORITY” to help right the continuing wrongs of this country.Is by a BLOODY REVOLT. YES, BLOOD must be spilled to thin down the numbers of the “DUMB MAJORITY”. So the “DUMB MAJORITY” will become the “DUMB FEW”.That is the only way I see this once great country, becoming a great nation again.

    Tyranny has many faces, right now the “DUMB MAJORITY” is one of them.

    Reply

    • Bo

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      Our government is so corrupt and strong that the people have no say in our country any more. As they try to take our guns from us this will be the last straw. If we do not act then we will be totally under their control with no chances of changing anything. God help us.

      Reply

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