Social Security Admin Ignores Congress on Gun Rights

July 31 deadline set by committee passes with no response from administration

August 7, 2015

The Social Security Administration has not responded to a letter questioning the agency's new gun control efforts sent last month by Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee.

"No response yet," Ways and Means spokesperson Doug Andres told the Free Beacon.

The authors of the letter, sent on July 21, asked Social Security Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin to respond to the committee's concerns by July 31. They said the Obama administration plans to add Social Security recipients who do not manage their own finances to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), a move that would bar millions from purchasing guns.

"It has come to our attention that the Social Security Administration is considering a policy to provide the names of Social Security beneficiaries who have a ‘representative payee’ to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in an effort to limit Second Amendment rights," the letter, signed by 18 Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee, said. "This would be a dangerous overreach, and we urge you to abandon any such plan."

"The representative payee system is vital for beneficiaries who need assistance managing their own finances. Millions of responsible seniors and people with disabilities rely on a representative payee. Simply using this system does not mean beneficiaries are a risk to themselves or others."

The National Rifle Association (NRA) praised the committee's letter and said it would continue to fight Social Security's efforts to add recipients to the NICS.

"The National Rifle Association will continue fight this injustice by any means necessary," NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker said.

Baker pointed to NRA support for legislation introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) on Wednesday.

"Yesterday, we endorsed legislation that would stop Obama's Veterans Administration and Social Security Administration from throwing veterans, the disabled and elderly into NICS for simply being unable or unwilling to manage their financial affairs," she said.

The Ways and Means Committee did not respond to questions about whether it is considering any legislation related to the Social Security plan. The Social Security Administration did not respond to a request for comment.