Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) has introduced legislation that would prevent the Social Security Administration from being able to deny beneficiaries’ gun rights. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) would undo one of the recent executive orders granting the Social Security Administration this new authority.
The President recently issued an executive order that grants the Social Security Administration the power to strip beneficiaries of their gun rights based on what benefits they receive. The new gun control initiative was launched earlier this year in part of a series of executive orders targeting gun owners.
Typically only a judge, court or legal board of authority has the ability to restrict an individual’s right to gun ownership. This bill would prevent the Social Security Administration representatives from making that determination and reporting those who receive special assistance to NICS—essentially creating a new class of prohibited person.
“I have long voiced my concerns with proposals from this Administration that could infringe on Nevadans’ right to bear arms” said Heller in the official announcement. “Never should the millions of responsible seniors and individuals in this country be arbitrarily discriminated against and denied their Second Amendment rights.
“I am proud to work with Senator Crapo on this important legislation, which protects the rights of law-abiding Social Security beneficiaries,” added Heller. “I will continue fighting to ensure Americans’ constitutional rights are protected.”
Other co-sponsors include senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) has also introduced support legislation to the House of Representatives, H.R. 3516.
The Social Security Administration has already indicated that it started working on a framework to determine who may be considered a prohibited person based on their mental health records and what benefits they receive.
If the framework goes into place approximately 75,000 beneficiaries may be affected by the new Social Security authority. The executive order also requires that the Social Security Administration implements a relief program for anyone deemed a mental defective to appeal the determination, but the process is not yet detailed.