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Obama's Goal: No Guns for Some SSD Beneficiaries

The Obama administration is pushing to ban certain Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns. The target group of beneficiaries is those who lack the mental capacity to manage their affairs.

If Obama’s plan goes into action, it could affect millions of Americans on Social Security Disability whose finances are handled by others.

Obama’s push intends to have the Social Security Administration fall in line with the laws regulating which individuals are reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System – the system designed to prevent guns from being sold to illegal immigrants, drug addicts, and felons.

There is a large pool of people receiving Social Security benefits who are unable to manage their own affairs due to mental illness, a medical conditions, below normal intelligence, and disease.

There is no specific method of identifying such individuals, however, the method used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the background-check system was established is reporting anyone that has been declared “incompetent” to manage their disability benefits or their pension, and who has been assigned a fiduciary.

According to The Seattle Times, over 4 million adults are receiving Social Security benefits, which are managed by “representative payees.”

Obama’s proposal comes after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. The goal is to strengthen gun control by plugging any holes in the background-check system.

Critics of the proposal, including gun-rights activists, mental health experts and advocates of the disabled argue that expanding the list of people prohibited from owning guns based on their financial incompetence is wrong.

While the ban would certainly keep some people who pose a danger to the community from owning guns, critics argue that this strategy would include numerous people who simply have bad memories or difficulty balancing checkbooks due to conditions such as brain injuries.

Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who studied how veterans with mental health problems manage finances said that someone can be incapable of managing their money, but that doesn’t make them dangerous, violent, or unsafe.

Over 2.5 million people are receiving SSD payments for mental health problems; these individuals may be a higher risk category for gun ownership. Another 1.5 million beneficiaries have their finances handled by someone else for various reasons.

When the National Rifle Association (NRA) heard of the initiative, its chief lobbyist, Chris Cox said that if the Obama administration attempted to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA would pursue all avenues to stop them in their tracks.

If you need legal assistance with a Social Security Disability matter, contact a Dallas Social Security Disability attorney from The Zendeh Del Law Firm today!