One of the biggest victims of President Barack Obama’s progressive agenda has been the Second Amendment, and despite the prospect of leaving office in less than a month, he has continued his attack on gun rights in recent days.
The Social Security Administration issued the final version of a rule on Monday that would strip tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens of their gun rights because of their receipt of disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income, according to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
Under the new rule, these recipients would be re-characterized as “mental defectives,” which would effectively force Social Security applicants with mental health problems to choose between their needed benefits and their constitutional right to own guns.
The SSA’s new rule is rife with problems, including its egregious lack of due process for those whose rights are taken away.
Not only does the rule not consider the individual’s propensity for violence as a necessary condition to stripping his or her fundamental right to own guns, but the rule also does not provide its subjects the ability to defend their suitability to possess firearms before the actual loss of rights takes place.
In fact, in the adjudication process, the key question that determines whether an applicant is not “suitable” to own firearms boils down to whether or not the individual has any sort of mental condition and can responsibly handle money.
Whether or not someone can manage his finances is not a fair basis to strip him of the constitutional right to own a firearm.
Moreover, the individual whose rights are taken away under the rule is afforded no due process before the loss happens, PJ Media pointed out. In fact, the only defense of rights allowed comes after the SSA has stripped away those rights.
Affected beneficiaries are forced to file a petition for “restoration” of rights and must prove that their possession of firearms would not harm public safety or public interest.
Interestingly enough, in its decision to enact this rule the government never established or even tried to establish that gun violence and mental health issues were inherently linked, The New American noted. In fact, in response to thousands of submitted concerns regarding the rule earlier this year, the SSA wrote, “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence.”
So, if the government doesn’t have to prove that someone’s mental health issues demand their loss of Second Amendment rights, why should the burden fall to the applicant who has done nothing wrong?
Not to mention the expense that these applicants would have to bear to have psychological and medical evaluations in order to prove their suitability to own guns — an expense the administration claimed was “reasonable” but never actually considered that it may not be affordable, particularly for people who are receiving government benefits in the first place.
This is just one of many ways President Obama has attempted to override constitutional protections in the name of his progressive gun control agenda.
Thankfully, his days in office are numbered, and a new era of Republican leadership that respects the Second Amendment is on the horizon.
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