Tag Archives: President Obama

Obama Administration Looks to Deny Firearm Purchases through Social Security

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post at U.S. Law Shield warns that the Obama administration’s new gun-control measures would strip some Social Security recipients of their Second Amendment rights. A new proposed regulation would use information from the Social Security Administration to determine whether an individual will be allowed to buy a gun!

“Under the proposed regulation, the Social Security Administration would identify any individuals who were ‘adjudicated as mentally defective,’ for the purposes of the 4473 Firearm Purchasing Form,” says Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington, who’s also a partner in the Houston law firm Walker & Byington. “The problem is this term is incredibly broad; while it includes people who have been found in a courtroom to be mentally incompetent or committed to a mental health institution against their will, it also includes anyone ‘unable to manage one’s own affairs.’”

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Michele Byington, Law Shield Independent Program Attorney

There is no exact definition for “unable to manage one’s own affairs.” One of the departments that already also uses this definition, the Department of Veterans Affairs, interprets the phrase to mean anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary. Currently, 4.2 million recipients of Social Security have their payments managed by someone else and could be affected by this new regulation.

Byington said, “If anyone receives Social Security payments on your behalf, you could be banned from buying a gun!”

Information about these potentially millions of people would be provided to the Justice Department four times a year and would be included in the F.B.I.’s NICS background check system. If a person comes up on the background check system as having a mental impairment or as being unable to manage their own affairs, they will not be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.

The Obama administration’s justification of this proposed regulation is that it will “plug holes” in the background check system with the goal of preventing mentally unfit individuals from obtaining firearms. However, the way the regulation is currently worded could unfairly affect millions of Americans, Byington said.

This proposed regulation could discourage senior citizens from applying for financial management help for fear of losing their Second Amendment rights. It could also unfairly take away rights from those more than capable of safely and responsibly possessing a firearm who have opted to receive their Social Security payments through a representative. Luckily, Congressman Sam Johnson has sponsored a bill that would prevent the agency from placing people who need financial help into the gun background check system.

Do you think this law is the best way to keep firearms in the hands of responsible owners or is it government overreach that will do more harm than good?

Major Gun Groups Oppose Supreme Court Nominee

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President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Photo from NRA-ILA.
President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Photo from NRA-IL

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation have all come out against the recent nomination of U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This week, President Barack Obama nominated Garland, 63, to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13. Garland was appointed to the appeals court in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and has been chief justice of the court in Washington since 2013.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement, “With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right — and four justices do not. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms, and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time.

“In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The Gun Owners of America said Wednesday that it would oppose the nomination of U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because he “is not only anti-gun, he supports the ability of a president to illegally use executive power to advance liberal causes.”

“If Garland were confirmed, we can expect to see more gun registration, more gun bans, more limitations on ammunition — and all of it would be approved by the Supreme Court,” said the group’s executive director, Erich Pratt. “As a practical matter, good people will go to prison for exercising their constitutionally-protected rights.”

Pratt added that in 2007, Garland voted to reverse a D.C. Circuit Court decision striking down Washington’s handgun ban as unconstitutional. A three-judge panel had ruled against the ban in what became known as the Heller case.

Seven years earlier, Garland backed a Clinton administration move to maintain the registration of gun owners in NRA v. Reno.

His vote in the McDonald case supported the White House’s efforts to use the instant check to illegally retain the names of gun owners for six months.

Both decisions were later struck down by the Supreme Court in 5-4 decisions. In the Heller case, Scalia cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion, the Daily Signal reports.

“Hence, we don’t have to speculate as to how Garland would vote on Heller if confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Pratt said. “He’s already voted against Heller once before, thereby showing he’d effectively rip the Second Amendment from the Constitution.”

The founder of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, said, “This is not a good nomination and Judge Garland should not be confirmed.”

Gottlieb said, “Judge Garland voted to grant an en banc hearing to Heller after the three judge panel struck down the District of Columbia’s gun ban law. The only reason to do so would be to overturn the pro Second Amendment ruling. That was hostile to gun rights.”

Gottlieb said, “Those of us on the front lines of the Second Amendment battle have warned for the past eight years that the right to keep and bear arms can live or die on a single vote, and nothing makes that more clear than today’s nomination. I hope the Senate, if it takes up this nomination, promptly rejects it.”