02.15.17

Daines Halts Attempt to Strip Americans of their Second Amendment Rights

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today stopped the Obama administration’s attempt to strip Social Security beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights. 

In January 2013, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum directing federal agencies – including the Social Security Administration - to gather and submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who may be determined to be what NICS refers to as “mentally defective.”  In order for an individual to be deemed “mentally deficient,” a court, board, or other lawful authority is required to find that the person is a danger to themselves or others, or is unable to contract or manage their own affairs. 

The U.S. Senate today voted to cancel that policy. 

“Today we restored certainty to Americans’ Second Amendment rights and our right to due process against another attempt to slash them,” Daines stated. 

For some beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration will appoint someone to act as representative payee for a beneficiary who may need assistance to manage their benefits.  This appointment is not made through a court of law and is not a determination of a beneficiary’s mental capacity.  In response to the President’s memorandum, the Social Security Administration issued a final rule in December 2016 requiring individuals who have been appointed a representative payee to be reported to NICS. 

The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to repeal any regulations finalized in the last 60 days of an administration with a disapproval resolution, also known as “midnight” regulations. The Obama Administration issued 145 “midnight” regulations, which cost 21 billion in taxpayer dollars. The House passed the congressional disapproval on February 2, 2017.

Daines co-sponsored the Social Security Beneficiary Second Amendment Rights Protection Act to prevent the Social Security Administration’s final rule and sent a letter in both 2015 and 2016 to the Acting Commissioner of Social Security to stop the finalization of this rule. 

###