January 25, 2017

Crapo Reintroduces Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights of Social Security Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maintaining a commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of individuals, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today reintroduced the Social Security Beneficiary 2nd Amendment Rights Protection Act (S.202)  Crapo’s legislation would protect Social Security beneficiaries from being stripped of their Second Amendment rights because of determinations used by the Social Security Administration about the management and payment of an individual’s benefits. 

In January 2013, former President Obama issued a memorandum directing federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (SSA), to gather and submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who may be determined to be what NICS refers to as “mentally deficient.”  In order for an individual to be deemed “mentally deficient,” a court, board, or other lawful authority is required to find that the person is a danger to themselves or others, or is unable to contract or manage their own affairs.

For some beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration will appoint someone to act as representative payee for a beneficiary who may need assistance to manage their benefits.  This appointment is not made through a court of law and is not a determination of a beneficiary’s mental capacity.  Under the President’s memorandum, the Social Security Administration could be required to report individuals who have been appointed a representative payee to NICS.  Crapo’s bill would prevent Social Security beneficiaries from being reported and protect their Second Amendment rights.

“The Social Security Administration is not a court of law and it is unacceptable that it reports information on individuals, thus denying them their Second Amendment rights,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over this legislation.  “This is a severe overreach that must cease.  This bill will protect Social Security beneficiaries from having their constitutional rights arbitrarily revoked.”

In addition, since the summer of 2015, Crapo has worked to prevent the implementation of SSA’s rule, including leading four letters with other senators to the Social Security Administration expressing concern with the proposed rule.

Crapo’s legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Steve Daines (R-Montana) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).

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