Obama gun ban for Social Security recipients faces a GOP rollback

“We have already seen federal authorities use psychiatric data to deny more than 257,000 military veterans their right to keep and bear arms … But these are honest people who have committed no crimes,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.


Obama gun ban for Social Security recipients faces a GOP rollback

In a sign of the new climate taking hold on gun issues under a Trump administration with a Republican-led Congress, a rule to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people is on its way to being scrapped.

Under the rule, the Social Security Administration was to provide information to the gun-buying background check system on recipients with a mental disorder so severe they cannot work or handle their own benefit checks. Finalized in December as the Obama administration wound down, it affects an estimated 75,000 beneficiaries....

The idea for the provision emerged after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in which a 20-year-old man with a variety of impairments, including Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, shot and killed his mother at their home, then went to a school in Newtown, Connecticut, and fatally shot 20 children, six adults and himself. Adam Lanza used several weapons that his mother kept in her home and that they used to shoot at a range together.

Republican lawmakers and gun advocates criticized the regulation for reinforcing a negative stereotype that people with a mental disorder are dangerous.

“We have already seen federal authorities use psychiatric data to deny more than 257,000 military veterans their right to keep and bear arms … But these are honest people who have committed no crimes,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.


Editor's Note:  GOA has published additional materials to help gun owners petition for a Social Security gun ban repeal:

1. Gun owners can take action by contacting their U.S. Senators here; and,

2. People can read GOA's original comments -- submitted to the Obama administration -- in opposition to this gun ban.

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