Guns and Gear

NRA Celebrates Victory Against Obama Gun Ban Policy

The National Rifle Association is celebrating a legislative victory Wednesday after Congress said it will review a gun ban rule created by the Obama administration.

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits on April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)   NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits on April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)   

The rule involves adding the names of Social Security recipients who receive assistance like the Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

It also includes people who receive assistance “based on a finding that the individual’s mental impairment meets or medically equals the requirements of section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments…and receipt of benefits through a representative pay.”

The rule will be reviewed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to scrap any action by an outgoing administration that falls within the last six months of its time in office.

“We are pleased that Congress is moving swiftly to ensure that law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights are respected,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA-ILA, said in a statement by the NRA. “We would like to thank Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Ralph Abraham (R-LA) for leading this effort in the House, as well as with Speaker Paul Ryan for his leadership on this issue.”

Critics of the ban called for data that proves the connection between mental illness and a greater capacity for gun violence, but the SSA responded only with, “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence,” but instead they were only following orders.

The thought process behind the ban was that a person with a mental illness may suffer from the “lack the ability to reason properly, is disoriented, has seriously impaired judgment, or is unable to communicate with others,” and should not be able to handle a weapon.

The SSA cited its “existing procedures,” and “regular program rules,” as well as “adjudicators,” as who will be determining if someone is mentally impaired or has ‚Äúsubnormal intelligence” or not.

As soon as someone is determined to fit this criteria, their Second Amendment rights virtually disappear. The NRA opposed the rule outright because it was “effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health problems.”