The Social Security Administration under Barack Obama implemented their version of a “gun grab” law, jeopardizing tens of thousands of SSI recipients’ Second Amendment rights.
Under the law, the SSA has to provide the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database a list of recipients eligible and receiving SSI insurance based upon criteria they have determined makes a person mentally ill; thereby creating an unsubstantiated association of mental illness and a propensity to violence. This blanket decision – without any history, medical, or psychological determination on a per-person/case-by-case basis – is a generalization, based upon the type of disability a recipient receives. These categorizations determine a person’s eligibility to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.
Fortunately, it appears this law will be short-lived, as the current Republican Congress is expected to repeal this law in the coming weeks – if not days – by enacting the Congressional Review Act giving Congress the ability to nix any actions implemented within the last six months by an outgoing administration.
Placing SSI recipients into the NICS database not only prevents them from bearing arms, but also vilifies them with an unproven label of being predisposed toward violence. There has to be a better way.
We must take into consideration that most people suffering from and receiving treatment for a wide variety of mental illnesses are not violent. While most would agree to the importance of keeping firearms, or any other object that could potentially be utilized as a weapon, out of the hands of violent criminals; doing so via SSI red-tape paperwork does not achieve that specific goal.
Identifying who is and isn’t violent has to be determined through due process of the law or by emergency court order.
Congress and the Trump Administration are well-aware of the implicated flaws currently reflected in this law as it stands; a change should be coming soon.