Social Security Disability to Tell FBI which Disability Recipients Should Not Have Guns

June 13, 2016

 

I thought this would be timely after what just happened in Orlando, and previously in Aurora and San Bernardino, among other places of violence and death. Everyone knows about the FBI Background Check through which most gun purchasers must be cleared under federal law. The system's formal name is the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  Congress discovered that a lot of information from other federal, state, and/or local agencies about potentially dangerous individuals was not getting into the system. So they passed a law ordering all federal agencies to pass regulations regarding how their individual agencies could help with this problem. The Social Security Administration and the Disability Program was one of the agencies and programs it had in mind.

 

The Social Security released proposed regulations and the public comment period is now underway. This is what is says in layman's terms of the proposed regulation followed by what I think. Individuals who primarily receive disability benefits for a severe diagnosed mental illness and who are determined to not be capable of managing their money on their own will be placed on the FBI's "Do Not Sell" list. Legally of course it is much more complicated. It is 33 pages and the Social Security Administration's Chief Counsel's Office definatly put a lot of thought into it. 

 

It's well written and it makes sense. Social Security admits that their factors, designed to determine disability, when used  to be used to consider whether someone should have a gun are not a "perfect fit" but there is a "reasonable and appropriate fit." Of course no law, rule, or regulation is a perfect fit. This proposed regulation is more about Social Security following a federal mandate more than anything else. It is not easy to be severely mentally ill under the Social Security Guidelines. We are talking here about people who are regularly hospitalized and/or arrested, have long histories of various medications that have been of limited effectiveness, and who for lack of a better phrase, due to mental illness, are a mess and will most likely be that way their entire lives. Who can argue about keeping guns out of the hands of such people?

 

I am going to submit some comments to Social Security on these proposed regulations but I will post those separately.

 

 

 

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Damian Leone Esquire
Scranton Wilkes-Barre Northeastern Pennsylvania
Social Security Disability Attorney

(570) 677-3914

dleone@nepasocialsecurity.com