NRA: Social Security Administration Strikes at Second Amendment

By Dave Dolbee published on in News

Many have claimed that the Social Security Administration has been trying to force recipients to choose between benefits and their Second Amendment rights. Arguments and counter arguments have been wielded for and against the proposal for some time. Without a final version, there was no way completely sort the wheat from the chaff. Now, in the final days of Obama’s time as President, it looks like there will be one more push for backdoor gun control.

Here is the full release from the NRA-ILA.


The White House decked with wreaths and a Social Security card ghosted over the top

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 their 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.

NRA-ILA logo

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.

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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.

Do you think the new rules from the SSA will affect gun owners? Share your analysis in the comment section.

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Comments (47)

  • Jimbo

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    Never paid a dime into SSI? No problemo:

    UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES MAY A NON-CITIZEN BE ELIGIBLE FOR SSI?

    A non-citizen (also called an “alien” for immigration purposes) may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if he or she meets the requirements of the laws for non–citizens that went into effect on August 22, 1996.

    Reply

  • Opieofmayberry

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    I see many fine thoughts represented here in the comments and rightly so, the regulators at the SSI and SSA need to be culled or eliminated all together. But it’s not just here, our rights as law abiding citizens are under attack. This is where the need for, “Draining the Swamp”, is at it’s highest level. The government is full of these, poisonous snakes, known as regulators, who attack our freedoms in stealth mode behind the guise of filling in the holes of law while properly implementing legislation that are Constitutionally conceived. We need to be vigilant in holding up these instances that are blatant but also be watching at every level of government, as the regulators work against us, the freedom loving Americans. WE are under attack at every level. That’s city, county, state, and federal, they are all ladder climbers with a globalist agenda, who are self absorbed, servants to big government, tearing at our nations fabric, cause driven not concerned with the consequences to the people. They are government employees not just the rhinos who got elected. We need to get rid of the SEIU as it works against the will of the people and any and all vehicles that empowers these rodents within the government structure. Our 45th President has a monumental task in this, which will determine his success or failure. Pray for him, he will need it.
    Thank God for the NRA!

    Reply

    • Nealstar

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      Opie,
      “Thank God for the NRA!”
      AMEN!
      If every gunowner joined, we would once again have a true two party system.

      Reply

  • Bill Von Ord

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    Government telling people to give up their rifles and pistols that protect them from harm is like them telling people to give up their seat belts and airbags!

    Reply

  • Gringo Cracker

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    If anything worthwhile or positive has resulted from the last eight years, it is ironclad proof that elections have real consequences and that liberals/leftists/Progressives/Democrats can never be trusted with control of government.

    Reply

    • Gringo Cracker

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      Thanks for the correction! I thought about adding it, but didn’t want to carry redundancy too far.

      Reply

    • Nealstar

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      That would be understood by stating Democrat/Progressive.

      Reply

  • abelhorn

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    In USA when Tyrants are the Government

    then Revolution is sure to follow.

    Reply

  • Nealstar

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s all fine and good, but think about trying to enforce the law by trying to take the weapons from “mentally defective” social security recipients many of whom are probably veterans and conservatives who may have major physical infirmities, a short time remaining on the planet and an attitude…and can still pull a trigger.

    Reply

    • HRPufnstuf

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      And all of us that would stand with them.

      Reply

    • Nealstar

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      Particularly if you saw the nightmare your children and grandchildren would inherit otherwise.

      Reply

  • LEVELLER

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    Maybe it;s in the wording of “Empirical Evidence”? Which is either “Absolute Proof” or a “Lie”! No “Grey Areas”.

    Reply

  • G-Man

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    It is news such as this that makes me think what all the past commenters are thinking now. I’m referring to the ones who so confidently posted here in an effort to antagonistically chide the rest of us about how we need to bust out our tinfoil hats for thinking Obama is coming after our guns.

    Their so called counter-proof has always been to smugly proclaim Obama never got around to conducting his overt door-to-door confiscations. My response to such claims has always proven it was still being done, but instead was accomplished through acts that quietly confiscated firearms.

    The reality is that Obama opted to subtly gnaw away at our right to bear arms through passive administrative means and executive actions, but it is still culminates into nothing short of out-right confiscations.

    I recall having to point out to these naysayers that just because such confiscations hadn’t personally affected them as of yet, there are still thousands of fellow citizens in courts across the country fighting for the return of their illegally confiscated firearms and related property.

    One particular naysayer was in denial after I pointed out the VA sent out letters in an effort to confiscate firearms from veterans. One vet in particular made headlines as the VA was set to follow the letter up with an ATF raid on his home for failure to comply; a threat so real that a pro-gun sheriff and his deputies posted guards outside the vet’s house which ultimately prevented the raid.

    All of this stemmed from Obama quietly ordering the VA to enter tens of thousands of veteran’s names into NICS just for having fiduciaries manage their VA funds. This occurred without regard to their mental state and without any formal adjudication process. Sadly most of these vets were talked into fiduciaries as a feature of convenience rather than necessity.

    Most people don’t understand that the moment they are entered into NICS, their right to bear arms is immediately denied. This even applies to all those vets currently lawfully possessing firearms, but once entered into NICS, thereafter they are automatically made into felons without their ever knowing it.

    I could not believe the number of commenters I’ve encounter that are in denial of these facts and wanted to argue. And worse is they’d double-down when I informed them of Obama’s forthcoming plan to do the same to social security recipients. They thought I was nuts.

    I imagine most of these commenters in denial were the same ones laughing at us and saying there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell Donald Trump would ever come close to getting nominated for President – let alone actually winning the election. Well now that it has all actually happened, I don’t think we should wonder any longer who should have the honor of wearing the tinfoil hats.

    Reply

  • jim

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    First of all it is not O’bama’s SSA! It is a Federal Administration currently run by one of O’bama’s appointees or Stooges’. Also, I’ll bet dollars to donuts that this is another executive fiat or order. that The Donald will quash as soon as he is in office. It’s similar to O’bam’s “big Cost of living” raise that he gave SSA recipients this year. A .3% oost of living increase that just so happened to figure out to the exact amount that Medicare was increased this year so no one ACTUALLY got a damn cent for an increase!

    Reply

  • Jason Blankovich

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    If it looks like a Communist, and it regulates like a Communist, and it smells like a Communist, it must be a Communist.

    Anyone out there who doesn’t by this time understand that whether you call ’em Democrats or Socialists or Progressives they are COMMUNISTS.

    Communism is responsible for more deaths that any other political movement in history and it is still going on today.

    Read “The Black Book of Communism.”

    Reply

    • Nealstar

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      Been saying that for years. Democrat Party aka CPUSA. GOP RINOs are the Ladies’ Auxiliary. See Skeon Clousen’s 45 Communist Goals from his 1958 book, “The Naked Communist”. Up until Comey gave La Clinton a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, they’d achieved 42 of the 45. Once he let her off the hook, #35 was achieved and now they only have 2 to go.

      Merry Christmas!

      Reply

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