GOP Senators Push Bill to Shield Social Security Beneficiaries from Obama’s Gun Ban

Raised Gun self-defense AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On February 4, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced legislation to shield Social Security beneficiaries from having their Second Amendment rights taken away via Obama’s gun ban.

On July 18, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Social Security administration was working on a ban for some beneficiaries, per Obama. The details of the ban were not known because it was being put together “outside of public view.” But it was clear that the ban would cover those who are unable to manage their own affairs for a multitude of reasons — from “subnormal intelligence or mental illness” to “incompetency,” an unspecified “condition,” or “disease.”

In other words, if a Social Security beneficiary needs help handling his or her bills and income, they may be flagged in the system and prohibited from gun ownership.

On January 4, 2016, Breitbart News reported that Obama was co-opting the Social Security gun ban into his latest executive gun controls under the auspices of “mental health.”

Details were set forth in the White House executive order preview:

Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS. The reporting that SSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is expected to require will 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, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent. The rule making will also provide a mechanism for people to seek relief from the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm for reasons related to mental health.

Senators Heller and Crapo are pushing legislation to stop this Social Security gun ban before it takes place. The Elko Daily Free Press reports that the legislation “prevents Social Security beneficiaries from being reported” as mentally ill or incompetent due to needing help managing finances.

Heller said:

I have long voiced my concerns with proposals from this Administration that could infringe on Nevadans’ right to bear arms. Never should the millions of responsible seniors and individuals in this country be arbitrarily discriminated against and denied their Second Amendment rights. I am proud to work with Senator Crapo on this important legislation, which protects the rights of law-abiding Social Security beneficiaries. I will continue fighting to ensure Americans’ constitutional rights are protected.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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