The Social Security Administration (SSA) could be running background checks for handgun permits and deciding who is legally eligible to own a firearm if President Obama gets his way.
A secret Obama administration plan would use the SSA to strip millions of Americans of their Second Amendment Rights, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Currently, the SSA does not share information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the federal program designed to keep the mentally ill, felons, drug addicts, illegal immigrants and others from buying handguns. The new Obama administration plan would allow the NCIS to use SSA data to deny handgun permits to those labelled mentally ill or incompetent.
According to the newspaper, a SSA recipient would be prohibited from owning a gun if he had been found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.”
This potentially could include people who simply cannot or do not want to balance a checkbook and persons with bad memories, The Times reported. Critics are afraid the SSA would use the same criteria the Veterans Administration (VA) does to define mental incompetency. The VA simply designates anybody whose finances are managed by somebody else as mentally incompetent. If the SSA did that, the number of people prohibited from owning guns would be 4.2 million.
“Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” Yale psychiatrist Marc Rosen told The Times. “They are very different determinations.”
How the VA and SSA Could Take Away Your Gun Rights
Under the VA system, some law-abiding veterans have lost their Second Amendment rights. Steven Overman, a former Marine who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), had to turn his handguns over to his mother to keep from losing them, The Times reported. Overman was ordered to get rid of his handguns after he signed paperwork that made his wife his fiduciary (the person legally responsible for his finances) in 2012.
“I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” Overman told The Times. He is now working with a lawyer in an attempt to get his Second Amendment Rights restored.
Veterans have only been able to appeal such determinations since 2008. Only nine of the 298 veterans who appealed have had their rights restored.
Policy Being Drafted in Secret
If the Social Security changes are made, 2.7 million Americans who receive Social Security disability payments for mental health problems and 1.5 million people whose finances are handled by others could be at risk of losing their Second Amendment rights like Overman did, The Times charged.
Not even the National Rifle Association (NRA) was aware of the scheme until a reporter asked for a comment about it.
“If the Obama administration attempts to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks,” NRA lobbyist Chris W. Cox told The Times.
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