Nunes to SSI recipients: It’s OK to keep your money from you, but not your gun


Some SSI recipients are incapable of managing their own affairs, and often those reasons are related to mental illness. In such cases other people are authorized to receive and disburse their benefits, basically stepping in to make sure the recipient has someone providing them with at least a minimum of care and supervision.

On December 16, 2016, the Social Security Administration issued new rules requiring notification be made to the Attorney General of the United States, for inclusion on National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the names of those individuals who have been deemed unable to manage their own affairs for “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease”. This would have the effect of preventing such individuals from purchasing a gun. (This rule was first proposed in July 2015, as part of ongoing actions after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. It wasn’t a last-minute decision by an outgoing administration.)

The NRA has, of course, taken a stand against this rule, saying it was part of the Obama administration’s “politically-motivated gun control binge“, “stripping individuals of their Second Amendment rights“.  Those against the ruling posit that people who are forgetful, who cannot balance a checkbook, or have an eating disorder will not be able to own guns.

Playing right into the NRA’s hysterical hand-wringing though, liberal media have chosen to play up the possibility that a seriously mentally deranged individual would be able to buy a gun (assuming, of course, that their payee cut loose with enough of their SSI check to do so).  The NRA points out that “the federal prohibitions on people who have been subject to involuntarily mental health commitments or subjected to “adjudications” of “mental defectiveness” remain on the books“.  The technicality of that is, of course, that it takes an actual commitment or “adjudication” to prevent a seriously disabled person from purchasing a firearm. At that point, it’s often the case that a crime has been committed, and the courts are dealing with the aftermath.

Ever diligent in their desire to see more guns on the streets, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on February 2, 2017, passed H.J. Res 40, repealing the Social Security Administration’s rule. This resolution is not part of some other bill, tucked in as an amendment. This is a short, single purpose bill, with only one action. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Congressman Devin Nunes voted in favor of this bill. This means the Congressman is fine with giving a SSI recipient’s money to someone else because they’re unable to take care of their own affairs, but doesn’t think they need supervision when it comes to purchasing a firearm.

Such individuals don’t need their money, but they do need access to guns. I feel safer already.

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