The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Obama administration is looking to keep people who are on Social Security from owning guns if they are unable to manage their own affairs.
Specifically, they are looking for people who have their affairs handled by others but are receiving a monthly government check — people who do not handle their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”
The Social Security system is not included in the standard background check system. The L.A. Times reports, “There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.”
If the same standard as the VA is adopted, about 4.2 million people will be affected.
The Times goes on to say (and this is really laughable), “The move is part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., to strengthen gun control, including by plugging holes in the background check system.”
Because so very many Social Security recipients are shooting stuff up.
Some people criticized the efforts. “Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” said Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with mental health problems manage their money. “They are very different determinations.”
Republicans in Congress are making their own moves. “Republicans have introduced legislation in the last several sessions of Congress to change the policy. The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, now under consideration in the House, would require a court to determine that somebody poses a danger before being reported to the background check system.”
It’s not just gun-rights advocates that are hostile to the administration’s backend gun grab.
Ari Ne’eman, a member of the National Council on Disability, said the independent federal agency would oppose any policy that used assignment of a representative payee as a basis to take any fundamental right away from people with disabilities.
“The rep payee is an extraordinarily broad brush,” he said.