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)

  • Hide Behind

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    Rules, Regulations, and the Laws they hide behind; where andbwhen do those elected Overseers watch out for our interest.
    C’mon now, office seated Repub or Demo are two busy linng their own pockets while the bureaucrats hand them advice in between influence peddling for $’s.
    We have an out of control and very corrupt form of federal bureaucracy that actually governs, no, make thAt “Rules”, in favor of self and internal political movements.
    Movements that have benefits not for the populace at large but for elitist groups own agendas.
    ponce again remember it was Ronnie Raygun who told Repubs to vote for Brady Bill and loyalty to each other over rode their ConstitutionL responsability.

    Reply

  • Dan

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    Over the past few years, liberals have lost 1000s of state and local elections, lost a bunch of Governor spots, lost the House and the Senate, and finally the Presidency. They seem to be either too stupid to take a hint or are gluttons for punishment. I assure you, it’s a bad idea to mess with seniors and their Soc. Sec.. There are a lot of us out here who are fed up with this progressive liberal agenda. We will watch, take names, and vote wisely. Perhaps we can help to drain the swamp! I sure hope so.

    Reply

  • PDH

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    Tempest in a pot of tea. Here’s what the language looks like:
    “The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to include information in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons.”
    People with mental health problems have no business with a firearm, IMO.

    Reply

    • Nealstar

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      Depends on who defines “mental health problem” and what the definition is. There are a whole lot of people who may not have “mental health problems” who should not be allowed near firearms.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ PDH,

      You are wrong. It is hardly a “Tempest in a pot of tea”, when the Rule officially goes into effect on the January 18, 2017.

      I recommend you try actually reading the Rule before talking crap about something you apparently know absolutely nothing about. As I told CAPT Mike mckenna in his post, try doing some research before embarrassing yourself in public.

      Reply

    • PDH

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      I guess we’ll have to wait and see then, won’t we?

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ PDH,

      I truly apologize if you are someone that is not functioning with all your mental faculties intact, but otherwise you are nothing short of idiotic for responding with, “I guess we’ll have to wait and see then, won’t we?”

      Whether intentional or through blunder, you are completely ignoring the simple fact that the Rule is no longer in the “proposal” stage. It was published long ago and will officially go into effect just 14 days from now. This is an irrefutable fact which I’ve clearly already pointed out to you; so there is simply nothing for you to “wait and see”.

      Rational persons capable of grasping this fact know your persistence in such ignorance is quite ridiculous. But your actions also become unacceptably careless when you intentionally misinform others – such as you did when you posted to CAPT Mike mckenna – by telling him “It’s just in the beginning phases and nothing has happened as of yet.”

      Nothing could be further from the truth and you need to stop.

      Obama intentionally timed the Rule to go into effect just 2 days before Trump’s inauguration. This action is a continuation of Obama’s temper-tantrum he’s been throwing on his way out of office ever since Trump won the election.

      The only thing to “wait and see” is if Trump can reverse the damage caused by the Rule. But it is definitely going into effect on January 18th, 2017. Since you can’t seem to use Google, below I’ve provided the official government link to the Rule which clearly shows its effective date as I’ve stated:

      https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-19/pdf/2016-30407.pdf

      Reply

    • Kadavergehorsam

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      G-Man

      Only if it doesn’t get sent to Obama’s desk first. And knowing Congress, their Dumb Enough to do it.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Kadavergehorsam,

      I think you’ve misunderstood something here. There is nothing that would be sent to anyone’s desk at all. This is not a pending Bill waiting to be signed by a president; it is an official Administrative Rule that had already been written by the Social Security Administration years ago.

      The short story is that the Rule violates aspects of the Second Amendment and just before it was to be published (put into effect) by the SSA, Congress caught wind of it and sent the SSA Commissioner a letter requesting they stand down due to the Rule’s Constitutional violations.

      They SSA did stand down and began work on changing aspects of the Rule, but as part of Obama’s temper-tantrum as he leaves office, he decided to order the SSA to go ahead and publish the Rule as it is. The Rule officially goes into effect on January 18th, 2017 (11 days from now).

      By the time President Trump gets into office and is able to take any meaningful evasive action, most affected Social Security recipients names will have already been added into NICS and their Rights will have been violated. I hope this clears things up for folks.

      Reply

    • Kadavergehorsam

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      G-Man

      In there HAST to Ramrod Legislation Through for the Pending Inaugural. Congress might actually Pass the Bill though without Meaning too.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Kadavergehorsam,

      Based on your last post I am absolutely certain now that you have completely misunderstood what’s really going on here. I’ve tried to explain it to you, but you continually show you are unable to grasp it. I want to say – never mind, but will try one last time to help you understand:

      There is no proposed Bill or pending legislation to hastily ramrod through the Legislature. This is an existing administrative law created by Obama through the Social Security Administration, not Congress. When the President creates this type of administrative laws it is known as a “Rule”.

      Obama has already signed this “Rule” into law using his executive powers and made it official by entering it into the National Registry. Plain and simple, IT IS A DONE DEAL!

      Furthermore, the date inscribed on the law is set to go into effect on January 18th, 2017 (8 days from now). There is absolutely nothing Congress can do to stop it short of filing for an emergency injunction in Federal Court. Otherwise they must wait for Trump to get into office and have him rescind the “Rule”.

      However, by then it will be too late because certain Social Security recipients’ names will have already been dumped into the NICS system which prevents them from lawfully owning or purchasing firearms. Please do not bother to respond again unless it is to write that you finally figured it out and get what I’ve been trying to tell you. Thanks.

      Reply

  • Steve in Detroit

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    So because I have a Spinal Cord Injury from on the job (City of Detroit) I loose right to defend self, house and family? 19 more days and he is gone.

    Reply

  • William

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    Just imagine all of the disabled vets who were sent to fight for our country.
    Who come home with their lives destroyed. And the government refuses to take care of them ?? The same government that taxed our income every payday for our future social security benefits. I have never read or seen any documentation stating that I can not receive the very benefits that I have paid for over my lifetime of work just because I may own a firearm under my Constitutional rights.

    Reply

    • Sam

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      As we all know a law, regulation or EO does not override the constitution. People choose to obey these unconstitutional laws that take away their constitutional rights. It is time to make our government obey the constitution.

      Reply

  • CAPT Mike mckenna

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    Publish the rule…I want to see the rule, or is thIs just another fake news scare?…just why are you getting all excited by fake news, or is this just a sample of what is to come under the trump administration?…mfm

    Reply

    • PDH

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      See my comment concerning the rule. It’s just in the beginning phases and nothing has happened as of yet.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ CAPT Mike mckenna,

      I’ll never understand some people – you can waste time bantering on about how you’ll consider this fake news unless you can see the Rule for yourself, yet the article provided links and references for you to go do exactly that – and read the actual rule before making a fool of yourself in a post.

      Granted the article’s link to the rule is broken, but with minimal effort I found it on my own. Why don’t you try that first and spare yourself the embarrassment next time?

      Reply

  • Wes

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    Sorry folks but it is time to set up some kind of underground arrangement because the government is doing whatever it takes to take away your rights. The 2nd amendment is just the starting point. Freedom to practice your religion is being discarded softly and out of sight primarily in the courts that are full of liberal hate America judges that are okaying taking away your right to free assembly and showing your beliefs in public. Of Courses the left and their disgusting parades in San Francisco with men and women having their private parts seen with their whips and chains on display are no problem for people. The country north of us have already done away with free speech and arrested Ministers for simple stating what the Bible says. So, you may slow the loss of your rights but you are still going to lose them because Trump and sanity may be in charge now but things keep changing as the crazy left finds more and more ways to avoid doing what is right, constitutional and best for the country. They will continue to be there trying to destroy this country and all it stands for.

    Reply

    • Irv Cohn

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      Do “”NOT”” do your “underground arrangement” here, or for that matter anywhere else on the internet, or with the use of cell phones!!! The reasons are numerous, and should be obvious. Irv.

      Reply

  • Ross next Ensign

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    As with many solutions the libs come up with to force upon the populace, I predict this move will have just the opposite effect as they claim. So fierce is our belief that the 2nd Amendment is the actual foundation stone of our Constitution along with the fact that the additional stigma (having your weapons taken) that one would suffer if he/she were to need these benefits will actually result in far less people getting help under the new rules. Thus there will be more potential situations in the future than if they would just keep their dictatorial hands out of the proverbial pot.

    Reply

  • Jaque

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    Where is the outrage from congressional republicans on this order? I havnt heard of one. Just like the IRS abuses. Lots of noise but no action. Every gun control act has violated the constitution with even the NRA behind some of the acts. Will things get better under Trump. If history is a guide the steady slope towards less democracy and more Marxism will continue. Only massive civil unrest and disobedience will wake up the politburo in Washington. And even then the response may be not change for the better but the use of FEMA camps to house the Americans who demand adherence to Constitutional Law.

    Reply

    • Auntie Vyris

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      The Reeps are almost as guilty as the Dems in nailing us to the wall. America has voted in Reeps in record numbers, as a refutation of Barry O’s policies and they keep stabbing us in the back. That’s why Trump, because we saw someone who is real and not “experienced”. If those Reeps don’t perform, as I expect some will not, they will get tossed.

      Reply

    • Irv Cohn

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      Are you familiar with the term “RINO”??? Irv

      Reply

  • Daniel R Thomas

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    And now one more reason not to get help for PTSD.

    Reply

    • Jason A Lynch

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      I’m with you Daniel Thomas. Sad but true!

      Reply

    • Irv Cohn

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      I wholeheartedly agree with you, and for that matter any other issue with mental health, military related or not. Irv.

      Reply

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