Senate bill would protect Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries
SSA use bureaucracy to strip away beneficiaries’ right to own a firearm
by Senator Mike Enzi media release
February 5, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho., today (Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016) that would protect Social Security beneficiaries from being stripped of their Second Amendment rights because of determinations used by the Social Security Administration about the management and payment of an individual’s benefits.
"It is completely outrageous to believe the Social Security Administration should have any role in determining whether a senior should have the right to own a firearm," Enzi said. "It is unfortunate that legislation is necessary to protect Americans, who happen to receive Social Security benefits, from having their 2nd Amendment rights suddenly stripped by their government without due process."
In January 2013, President Obama issued a memorandum directing federal agencies – including the Social Security Administration - to gather and submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who may be determined to be what NICS refers to as "mentally deficient." In order for an individual to be deemed "mentally deficient," a court, board or other lawful authority is required to find that the person is a danger to themselves or others or is unable to contract or manage their own affairs.
For some beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration will appoint someone to act as representative payee for a beneficiary who may need assistance to manage their benefits. This appointment is not made through a court of law and is not a determination of a beneficiary’s mental capacity. Under the president’s memorandum, the Social Security Administration could be required to report individuals who have been appointed a representative payee to NICS. Crapo’s bill would prevent Social Security beneficiaries from being reported and protect their Second Amendment rights.
Text of the bill, S.2495, will be referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Companion legislation, H.R. 3516 has been introduced in the House by Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas.