Social Security Administration: Gun Ban Officially Removed from Federal Code

In this July 20, 2014 photo, with guns displayed for sale behind her, a gun store employee helps a customer at Dragonman's, east of Colorado Springs, Colo. When Colorado lawmakers expanded background checks on firearms last year, they were expecting a huge increase. But the actual number the first 12 …
AP/Brennan Linsley

On May 18 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it officially removed the Social Security gun ban from the federal code.

The Social Security gun ban allowed the SSA to strip certain recipients of their Second Amendment rights without due process. It did this by allowing the SSA to investigate beneficiaries who required help managing finances and were subject to a broad mental health moniker. The moniker covered everything from treatable, sometimes temporary issues like anxiety and depression to major issues like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In light of the breadth of the mental health moniker, Duke University psychiatry and behavioral science professor Jeffrey Swanson observed that Barack Obama’s Social Security gun ban targeted the “vulnerable” rather than the dangerous. The Washington Post quoted Swanson’s explanation that the ban “[takes] away the gun rights of a large category of individuals without any evidence that they pose a risk of harm to self or others.”

So, a group that was vulnerable rather than dangerous was the target of the gun ban, and those whom the SSA singled out were liable to lose their Second Amendment rights without due process. This would occur when the SSA turned gave names of Social Security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS), thus barring those beneficiaries from buying guns.

On February 2 the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal the ban. On February 15 the GOP-controlled Senate voted to repeal the ban. And on February 28 President Trump signed the repeal.

On May 18 the SSA’s announced:

We are removing from the Code of Federal Regulations the final rules, Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA), published on December 19, 2016. We are doing so because Congress passed, and the President signed, a joint resolution of disapproval of the final rules under the Congressional Review Act.

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.