top of page
  • Ken Kraushaar

Confusion over the house's recent repealing of the social security firearms rule.

As is pretty normal for a news item regarding the firearms, there seems to be some confusion over the recent vote to repeal the Obama era regulation that would deny some recipients of disability to buy firearms. unfortunately the media, and those who don't understand firearms laws in general, have jumped on the bandwagon of posting about it, with some creating memes which state that the house voted to give schizophrenics guns.

First, what this regulation did effectively removed the due process rights from people who needed to seek help managing their finances. This could include people with mental disorders such as an eating disorder, or other mental disorders which affected their ability to manage their own finances. The SSA would be forced to report people with disorders to the FBI. The people could still apply for relief from the SSA, but not before they were reported to the FBI, even if they were not adjudicated mentally defective (which includes a determination by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or are incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have ever been committed to a mental institution.

What this means is that if you applied for assistance in managing your finances from the SSA, you would be put on the list and effectively had your right to bear arms stripped without due process in court. Doing this is not in the scope of the SSA's responsibility- it is the Judicial system's responsibility. The way this regulation was set up did not require the government to even prove that someone was mentally defective in any way, thus violating the right to due process.

Secondly, people have blamed the Republican party, and even the NRA for this, but they overlook the fact that not only was it opposed by the NRA, but it was also opposed by the ACLU, ADAPT, American Association of People with Disabilities, The Arc of the United States, Association of Mature American Citizens, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the Disability Law Center of Alaska, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, the National Association for Rural Mental Health, the National Council on Disability, the National Council of Independent Living, the National Coalition of Mental Health Recovery, the National Disability Leadership Alliance, the National Disability Rights Network, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, and Safari Club International. these are not "tools" of the NRA, these are state and national associations.

what this overturn does not do, is remove the federal regulations of the brady act and gun control act of 1968 that a person who is mentally adjudicated mentally defective regulating whether they can own a firearm, but what it does do is restore the due process guarantees of people who for whatever reason, need help from the Social security administration to manage their finances. nothing more, nothing less.

bottom of page