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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Proposes Rule for Reporting Certain Beneficiaries to Gun Control Database

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a "Notice of Proposed Rule Making" (NPRM) on reporting certain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As part of amendments to the NICS in 2007, Federal Agencies are required to submit to the Attorney General "any record of any person demonstrating that the person falls within one of certain categories of individuals excluded from owning or purchasing a gun or ammunition by the Gun Control Act of 1968." The SSA's proposed rule deals with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI beneficiaries who would be prohibited from owning a gun by 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4). Those would be individuals who have "been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution."

Under the proposed Rule, SSA would report new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI beneficiaries only when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The individual filed a SSDI or SSI claim based on disability;

  • The SSA determined that the person was disabled at Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process (the listings):

  • The individual's impairment meets or medically equals the listing for mental disorders;

  • The individual's primary diagnosis is based on a mental impairment;

  • The individual is between age 18 and the individual's full retirement age; and

  • The SSA requires the benefit payments to be made through a representative payee because it was determined the individual was incapable of managing benefit payments.

I often am questioned by clients about losing gun permits or inability to own a gun due to their social security disability application or benefits. As one can see from the proposed rule, a very small amount of claimants would ever be referred to the Attorney General for gun control purposes.

The proposed rule also establishes procedures for individuals who want their names removed from the NICS once SSA has reported them to the Attorney General. The beneficiary would provide certain information, including evidence from primary mental health provider regarding current mental status and file an application with other evidence regarding the applicant's reputation.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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