This morning, President Obama announced a package aimed at reducing gun violence and creating safer communities for all Americans. One proposed regulation would give the Social Security Administration (SSA) authority to prospectively identify individuals who lack the capacity to safely handle firearms and include them in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This rule would:
- Apply to individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits, who have been found to meet a specific mental impairment classification, and require their benefits to be made through a representative payee.
- Alert the individual, prior to adjudication, both orally and in writing, of their inclusion in the NICS system, their prohibition on possessing or receiving firearms, penalties for violating the prohibition, and opportunity to petition for restoration of firearms rights.
- Establish a process for beneficiaries to petition for relief from the firearm prohibition.
“At first glance, we appreciate the modest approach that the administration has taken on this nuanced issue.” Stated CSGV Executive Director Josh Horwitz. “This new rule is a good first step in keeping guns out of the hands of those individuals who might do harm to themselves or others. We look forward to studying all of the details of this new regulation and providing our input during the open comment period.”