Senate Votes to Repeal Obama’s Social Security Gun Ban

Brandon Oathout of Johnstown, N.Y., attends a Second Amendment rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. A few hundred people gathered for the rally pressing for repeal of the state's new tough laws that were enacted a month after the Newtown, Ct., school massacre. (AP …
AP/Mike Groll

The Senate voted to repeal Barack Obama’s Social Security gun ban on Feburary 15. This followed the House of Representatives vote to repeal the same gun ban on February 2.

The repeal now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed.

The Obama administration began formulating the Social Security gun ban behind closed doors during the summer of 2015. On July 18, 2015, Breitbart News reported:

The specific details of the ban are unknown, as it is being put together “outside of public view.” But the LA Times reports that a ban on gun possession due to inability to handle finances would be sweeping; that it 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.”

The Times notes that the finances of roughly “4.2 million” Social Security beneficiaries are handled by someone else.

An overview of the ban was officially put forward by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in May 2016. Page 19 of the overview said:

Under our representative payee policy, unless direct payment is prohibited, we presume that an adult beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits. However, if we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability. If a beneficiary has a mental impairment, we will develop the capability issue if there is an indication that the beneficiary may lack the ability to reason properly, is disoriented, has seriously impaired judgment, or is unable to communicate with others.

In other words, beneficiaries who caught the SSA’s attention by having someone help with finances would then be investigated. The investigation would include a look at mental health.

If the SSA determined the beneficiary was mentally incompetent, the name of the beneficiary would then be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and prohibited from purchasing firearms.

The Hill reports that the Senate voted 57-43 to repeal the ban. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted that the ban was especially egregious because of the way it violated the Due Process rights of those declared incompetent for gun ownership. He pointed out that at least 20 disability groups opposed the ban on these grounds, saying, “The reality is that, like us, they believe the regulation is simply bad policy, places an unfair stigma on those with disabilities and violates their constitutional rights which is why a wide array of groups oppose it.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.