In what the National Rifle Association has called the “largest gun grab in American history,” the Social Security Administration is proposing to report individuals who receive disability benefits and who have a mental health condition to the FBI for background checks.
The agency said it planned to publish the proposed rule Thursday in the Federal Register, according to The Hill.
"We would identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who receive disability insurance benefits ... and also meet certain other criteria, including an award of benefits 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," the proposed rule states.
"We propose to provide pertinent information about these individuals to the Attorney General on not less than a quarterly basis ... we would also notify individuals, both orally and in writing, of their possible Federal prohibition on possessing or receiving firearms, the consequences of such inclusion, the criminal penalties for violating the Gun Control Act, and the availability of relief from the prohibitions imposed by Federal law," the proposed rule adds.
Among the conditions the SSA screens its beneficiaries for are schizophrenia, personality disorders, intellectual disabilities, anxiety-related disorders, substance addiction disorders and autistic disorders.
In 2013, TheBlaze reported that nearly 11 million Americans received disability payments, between the actual disabled individual and their spouses and children. As of March 2016, the number of individuals receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or both was more than 65 million.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who opposed a similar rule by the Department of Veterans Affairs, said it would have prohibited veterans from owning guns simply because they were unable to manage their finances, The Hill reported.
"It appears that just like the VA, SSA’s regulatory action will not require the government to first prove that the individual is a danger to self or others,” Grassley wrote in a July 2015 letter to acting SSA commissioner Carolyn Colvin.
“Is the SSA using the VA’s regulatory standard as a template for reporting names to the [FBI]?” Grassley said. “If not, in what ways is the SSA’s regulatory scheme different from the VA’s?”
(H/T: The Hill)
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: