Posts Tagged ‘NRA-ILA’

Candidate Donald Trump at 2016 NRA-ILA Leadership forum

President Trump to Speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

Certainly one of, if not the biggest highlights of the 2016 NRA convention was when then candidate Trump spoke. I do not say this due to any partisan political views. Instead, I am recalling the mile-long line to get into the convention hall to see Trump speak hours before the NRA opened the doors. Regardless of the political preferences of the participants, all were pro gun and wanted to hear his message. Now, fast forward one year and candidate Trump is President Trump, but I am sure the lines will not be any shorter.

President Donald J. Trump standing at a podium in front of the American flag

NRA: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era SSA Gun Prohibition Rule

Far from the conception of some, the gun control fight is not over. While certain threats have been diminished with the defeat of Hillary Clinton, others are just as real. Fights are taking place within local and state legislatures. Other efforts are not against new threats, but against actions taken by previous administrations. The Shooter’s Log reported on the threat to the Second Amendment rights of individuals applying for, or receiving, Social Security benefits.

President Donald J. Trump standing at a podium in front of the American flag

While we were unsuccessful in blocking the initial implementation at the end of President Obama’s term, President Trump is doing the right thing. Read the full release from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year.

The SSA rulemaking was issued in the waning weeks of Obama’s presidency and targeted those receiving disability insurance or Supplementary Security Income based on SSA’s listed mental disorders and who were appointed a “representative payee” to help them manage their benefits. The agency –for the first time in its history– sought to portray these individuals as “mental defectives” who were prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms under federal law. It had planned to notify them of their prohibited status and to report them to NICS.

Making matters worse, the beneficiaries would have had no ability to argue about their suitability to possess firearms before their rights were lost. Instead, they would have been reduced to filing a petition for “restoration” of their rights—an expensive and bureaucratic process that would have required them to pay for a mental health evaluation and to prove they were not dangerous. A premise the government never established in the first place.

The plan drew fire not just from the NRA, but also from the ACLU and a wide range of mental health advocacy and treatment groups from across the political spectrum. Also opposing the plan was the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The NCD issued a statement explaining:

Since the action was first proposed in 2013, NCD has consistently taken the position that equating the need for assistance in managing one’s finances with a false presumption of incapacity in other areas of life, including possession of a firearm, unnecessarily and unreasonably deprives individuals with disabilities of a constitutional right and increases the stigma that [affects] those who may need a representative payee. The overly broad classification of “mental disorder,” includes a wide range of limitations and a shifting set of criteria relevant to whether or not one can engage in substantial gainful activity. NCD remains steadfast in our position that this classification remains irrelevant to the question of whether one can be a responsible gun owner.

The SSA received tens of thousands of comments in opposition to the rule. The NRA-ILA’s submission explained in detail how the rule was contrary to the underlying statute, to the U.S. Constitution and would function mainly to stigmatize the SSA beneficiaries and discourage others from seeking treatment and benefits to which they were entitled. It also argued that there was no empirical support for the notion that the rule would promote public safety.

Upper left corner of a social security card

The SSA, however, ignored the comments and issued the rule essentially as proposed.

It also brazenly brushed aside proffered evidence that the targeted beneficiaries were not at any increased risk for committing violence with firearms. “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).”

Fortunately, pro-gun majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate acted quickly to disapprove the rule under the Congressional Review Act, a federal statute that allows Congress to use an expedited legislative process to overrule administrative actions passed in the waning days of an outgoing administration.

The efforts to roll back this unjustified and legally unauthorized rule were predictably met with a withering barrage of negative and fake reporting from the anti-gun media, with supposed “news” outlets issuing such ludicrous headlines as “Senate, House hand guns to seriously mentally ill.” All these reports completely ignored the fact that existing restrictions on persons who had been involuntarily committed or adjudicated mentally incompetent remained fully intact. By acting to block the rule, Congress simply disapproved the Obama administration’s attempt to create a new class of prohibited persons by “reinterpreting” a federal gun control statute passed in 1968.

President Trump’s signing of the measure not only served to help repair the damage to the Second Amendment wrought by the Obama administration, it ushered in what many hope will be a new era of respect for the right to keep and bear arms. Just over a month into his presidency, Trump signed a freestanding pro-gun bill into law.

The NRA, of course, was among the earliest and staunchest supporters of Trump’s presidential bid. We thank him for his quick action on this measure and look forward to working with him and the pro-gun majorities in Congress to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

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What issue should the NRA-ILA focus on next? Which law would you most like to see President Trump repeal next? Share your answers in the comment section.

Courtroom gavel and base

Courts Rule in Favor of Firearm Owners Against Crime

Growing up in the Keystone state (even if the region is misspelled in my bio), I can attest to importance of firearms to whitetail hunters. However, the Second Amendment is not about hunting, it is about our constitutional right to bear arms. It would seem that some in Pennsylvania needed a reminder, so the local courts stepped to defend the citizens’ rights with Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act (UFA).

infographic showing an arrows pointed in opposite directions

NRA: Corporate Lawyers Muddying the Waters Around Gun Laws

Whether or not you supported him as a candidate, we would all like to think the next President will defend our rights under the Second Amendment. Early indicators are positive, but that does not mean the threat is diminished. It simply means we have one less entity against us. The threat from the antis is alive and they are up to their old tricks. In an attempt to counter the efforts of the NRA-ILA, and groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation, the anti gunners have formed anti-Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

MA AG Healey Attacks Gun Owners Again; Confuses Assault Weapon Definition

Adding to the insult, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has confused the issue and offered little guidance that help residents sort out which firearms have been banned and which are legal. Recently, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey added to the confusion caused by her decision to unilaterally ban common semi-automatic firearms by releasing a list of “Guns That Are Not Assault Weapons.”

Barack Obama

Obama Administration Releases Latest Executive Gun Control

It seems the closer we get to President Obama departure from the White House, the more brazen he is getting with his gun control agenda. The administration’s latest action targets small manufacturers and gunsmiths—the heart of the firearms small business community. But make no mistake; an attack on one has a ripple effect and is an attack on us all.

Hillary Clinton

Polls Demonstrate Gun Owner Distrust of Politicians

The NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) has never been shy or an organization to mince words. That makes the following from the NRA-ILA, that much more important. Of course, the Second Amendment is well supported by voters from the Left and the Right. The politicians on the other hand, well, that is still up for some debate. However, as the candidates position themselves for the upcoming elections, the battle lines are being drawn.

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Call to Action: Stop Merrick Garland from Being Confirmed

The NRA-ILA is asking for help and now is the time to step up! President Obama’s strategists are working overtime to secure the crown jewel of his anti-gun legacy: a U.S. Supreme Court that will reverse Heller for all time. The threat is real and without making our voices heard, there is always the chance for the Republican-controlled Senate to crumble on a vote. So, speak up and let your voice be heard.