We’ve reported in the past LINK on efforts coming from the Obama Administration to use certain mental health issues reported through the Social Security Administration to strip many senior citizens of their right to own or purchase firearms. Namely, it affects individuals who need assistance to handle their personal finances.
President Obama made this part of his executive gun controls announced in January.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has introduced legislation to block the action called the Protecting Gun Rights and Due Process Act, specifically designed to “prevent the Social Security Administration from reporting individuals to NICS unless (that) individual has been adjudicated as mentally incompetent.”
Paul also introduced legislation back in December 2015, before the specifics of the executive actions were announced, which was designed to block any executive action on gun control “that either infringes upon congressional authority or potentially violates the Second Amendment as ‘advisory only’ until legislation that supported the action is passed by Congress.”
According to this story from Breitbart, the White House explained that the SSA would execute the ban by reporting beneficiaries with a “mental health issue” to the NICS system, which would in turn bar them from purchasing a firearm.
“The reporting would happen ‘in consultation with the Department of Justice’ and would ‘cover appropriate records of the approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits, and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment.’”
Paul’s new bill would require a judge to declare an individual mentally incompetent before their Second Amendment rights can be taken.
Paul’s bill would also require the Attorney General to certify each adjudication. Additionally, if an adjudication were to be lifted or absolved, rights would be restored to the individual.
The VA has had a similar NICS reporting policy in place for some time that has been impacting America’s veterans for years.
This story from bearingarms.com says Obama’s policy has “resulted in nearly 200,000 veterans losing their right to keep and bear arms,” as they fall under the parameters outlined by the executive order.
“The VA has reportedly declared 260,381 veterans with fiduciary trustees to the background check system as ‘mentally defective’ and According to the Congressional Research Service, over 99% of all names reported to NICS as ‘mental defective’ are provided by the VA.”
Paul’s bill would also protect people enrolled in VA assistance programs, by blocking states and agencies from submitting individual records to the federal NICS database without due process in an actual court of law, complete with the right to counsel and a hearing.
“Senator Paul’s new bill is the only on in Congress that would block—not expand—the loopholes that have allowed President Obama to categorically strip Second Amendment rights from thousands of law-abiding veterans, senior citizens, and other gun owners without due process,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights, in the story.