Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NRA Says Gun Grab in Works

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NRA Says Gun Grab in Works

Article excerpt

Is the Obama administration trying to use Social Security to prevent more than 4 million Americans from being able to buy guns?

The National Rifle Association thinks so and is asking for donations to help fight what it calls the largest gun grab in American history - from people who lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.

The Social Security Administration confirmed that it is developing a new policy. It does not currently require the reporting of its mentally incapacitated beneficiaries to the government's gun-purchase background check system.

The NRA says if Social Security starts doing so it would allow the government to disarm the 4.2 million Social Security pensioners who have a "representative payee" to manage their benefits, forcing some elderly or disabled people to decide between arming themselves or getting their Social Security checks.

Federal gun laws prohibit the possession or sale of firearms to those who "have been adjudicated as a mental defective or been committed to a mental institution."

According to a July 18 article in the Los Angeles Times, critics of the Social Security policy say it would affect "numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook."

The NRA learned of the policy from the Times article, according to its press office. The organization sent an email to its members last week requesting money to "stop Obama from confiscating millions of guns."

"The NRA's claim that millions of people will lose their gun rights is fear-mongering and hyperbole," said Shira Goodman, executive director of the gun-control advocacy group CeaseFirePA. "In terms of getting better records into the background check system, it's very important. Our system is only as good as the records that are in there."

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is used by federally licensed gun dealers to assure its customers are not legally prohibited from owning a gun. …

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