Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has introduced legislation to protect social security recipient’s gun rights Thursday.
“It is inappropriate for the Social Security Administration to make determinations about an individual’s ability to buy or possess a firearm,” said Crapo. “This bill would protect the rights of Social Security beneficiaries from having their Constitutional rights arbitrarily revoked.”
In 2013, President Obama directed all federal agency executives to “improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).” It aimed to prohibit gun sales to citizens whose Social Security payments are handled by others by requiring the Social Security Administration to report them to the NICS, the same process used to prevent guns from being sold to felons, drug addicts, illegal immigrants, and others.
The process is already being used by the Department of Veteran Affairs to prohibit some veterans from owning firearms. A 2013 Senate report shows the VA has reported more than 143,000 beneficiaries, including roughly 83,000 veterans, to the “mental defective” category on NICS. According to the Times, more than half of the names on the VA list are people 80 or older, and often suffering from dementia.
As many as 4.2 million adults currently receive monthly Social Security benefits that are managed by someone else, referred to as “representative payees.”
Crapo’s bill, cosponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), was introduced today and will be referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Companion legislation, H.R. 3516 has been introduced in the House by Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas.