In what the National Rifle Association has described as “the largest gun grab in history,” the Obama administration created a plan to deem ineligible for gun ownership as many as 4 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits through a “representative payee.”
The plan mandated that the Social Security system report any recipient who receives pension or disability payments through a designated payee as potentially ineligible for firearm ownership.
The administration claimed the move would keep guns out of the hands of only people who are mentally unstable. But 2nd Amendment supporters noted that declaring anyone who has been assigned a representative payee could affect Social Security beneficiaries who have things like memory, gambling or past addiction or financial problems but who are otherwise fit for gun ownership.
The plan was also not relegated to the SSA. Based on the memorandum, government officials were directed to use “all relevant federal records” to find Americans who should be stripped of their gun ownership rights. That means bureaucrats were being given the greenlight to scour files from the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation, along with “such other agencies or offices as the Chair may designate,” looking for reasons to strip 2nd Amendment rights.
The biggest issue with the presidential edict is that it gave bureaucrats the authority to strip a constitutional right without proper due process.
“It is critically important that any restriction on gun possession or ownership on this basis is imposed only after the individual has been afforded due process and given an opportunity to respond to allegations that they are not able to safely possess or own a firearm due to his or her disability,” the National Council on Disability, which opposed the Obama rules, said in a statement.
The GOP-controlled Congress is examining the Obama rules under authority of the Congressional Review Act, which allows for lawmaker repeal of presidential actions initiated in the final six months of an outgoing administration.
As early as next week, lawmakers could strike down the Obama move widely regarded as a massive backdoor gun grab.
The National Rifle Association said Congress’s decision to review the Obama action marks the beginning of a “new era for freedom-loving Americans.”