House And Senate Have Both Approved Overturning Social Security Rule

The House approved House Joint Resolution 40 on February 2nd and the Senate approved it today by a vote of 57 yea to 43 nay. This overturns the Social Security Administration rulemaking approved on December 19, 2017 which would have made certain recipients who require help with their finances as prohibited persons. The rule would have deemed them mentally deficient and reported up to four million recipients to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS database. The Joint Resolution now goes to the desk of President Donald Trump for his signature.

It should be noted that it wasn’t just the gun community that opposed this rule. Many in the civil rights and mental health community opposed it as well including the ACLU.

The 57 Senators in favor of overturning the rule included every Republican, Democrats Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WV), and Tester (MT), and Independent Angus King of Maine. In a sign that elections have consequences and that the gun prohibitionists’ money applied in tight races can have an impact, both Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-NV) voted to deny the rights of senior citizens. It also goes to show that some of the Democrats in states which President Trump carried are starting to feel the heat.

Just so there is no confusion as to who voted for the rights of senior citizens and who did not, the yeas and nays are below:

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —57
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
King (I-ME)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Strange (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs —43
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

The NRA issued a statement this morning soon after the vote was taken applauding the move by the Senate.

NRA Applauds Senate’s Bipartisan Vote to Respect Due Process for Gun Owners

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.J. Res. 40, a joint resolution to revoke a final rule made by the Obama administration that would strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights. The resolution passed by a bipartisan vote of 57-43.

“Today’s Senate vote was the next step in rolling back some of the egregious government overreach that characterized the Obama era,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Congress is reversing a last-minute, back-door gun grab that stripped law-abiding Americans of their rights without due process.”

Late last year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action stripped some of the most vulnerable Americans of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration’s efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is allowed to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its final six months. This rule was implemented during that time frame. The bill received bipartisan support, passing the House last week House by a 235-180 vote. Today’s bipartisan Senate vote of 57-43 is the next step in reversing Obama’s unconstitutional gun grab. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

“We look forward to President Trump signing this important legislation into law,” concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for their work on this important legislation.

UPDATE: I received a press release from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-WY) which applauded the overturning of the SSA rule. I think his comments hit to the heart of the matter.

“Today’s resolution of disapproval will stop the Social Security Administration from stigmatizing people with disabilities and stripping beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The Social Security Administration is not a court of law and it is unacceptable that it take any action against a beneficiary without due process. Congress has done the right thing to stop this overreach and repeal this rule.”

The gun prohibitionists at the Brady Campaign are gnashing their teeth over this vote and are, of course, pleading for money.

Dear (my deceased mom),

The gun lobby lap dogs in Congress have done it again. This week, thousands of Americans jammed Senate phone lines with calls. America’s mayors, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials spoke out. And Brady supporters like you flooded their Senators’ inboxes with emails.

But the gun lobby lap dogs in the Senate ignored these warnings. They listened to the corporate gun lobby instead, and voted to roll back critical protections that kept guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses that make them a danger to themselves or others.

Still, our collective voices made a huge difference in this fight. Your calls and emails swayed several Senators who might have otherwise voted the wrong way, and came within just a few votes of victory.

You got us close, but today made it clear that the fight isn’t over. Gun lobby lap dogs in Congress may be listening to the corporate gun lobby instead of the voices that matter most – yours – but we’re going to hold them accountable.

We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced, and we will continue to fight.

You can join the effort to keep pressure on these lap dogs. Your contribution now will keep us one step ahead of the gun lobby’s plan to make America less safe.

Thank you for all you do,

Kristin Brown
Chief Strategy Officer
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

You will never sway politicians by calling them “gun lobby lap dogs”. Remember what Jeff Knox always reminds us, we are the gun lobby. It isn’t just Chris and Wayne in Fairfax. It is you and me and everyone else who believes in freedom. As to those senators whose votes were swayed, I wish the Brady Campaign would name names. I’d like to know who is against due process and civil rights for senior citizens.

Senate Will Vote On Overturning Social Security Administration’s NICS Ban Tuesday

Last year, in response to a Executive Memorandum signed by then President Obama, the Social Security Administration engaged in a rule-making that would impact those retirement and disability recipients who needed help with the management of the finances. A final rule was released late in 2016 that would add these people to the NICS prohibited list. The number of people impacted is estimated at about four million recipients.

It should be noted that these individuals need help managing their finances. They have never been adjudicated mentally deficient. I come across people on a daily basis who could use a trustee to manage their finances even though they are otherwise smart, capable individuals.

The House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 40 on February 2nd that disapproved this rule issued by the Social Security Administration.

The resolution reads:

Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (published at 81 Fed. Reg. 91702 (December 19, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.

The Brady Campaign sent out a text alert this morning saying that the Senate will vote on Senate Joint Resolution 14 on Tuesday. This is the Senate’s portion of the disapproval of the SSA rulemaking. They were urging their supporters to contact their Senators to “protect Brady background checks.”

S.J.Res. 14 is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley and has 29 co-sponsors. I was disappointed to see that neither of North Carolina’s senators was on the list. Nonetheless, we have the votes to overturn this rule if all the Republicans stick together.

I would urge you to call or email your senator to express your approval for this measure. The Capitol Switchboard is at 202-224-3121. You can also go to this page to get the direct number and/or email for your Senator.

There is a lot of “fake news” and misinformation being put out in opposition to this resolution so it is vital that you call.

New SSA Regulation May Be Overturned

The recently adopted Social Security Administration regulation that would report some seniors and disability recipients as mentally deficient to the NICS system will come under review by Congress. That regulation deemed that anyone who required a trustee or custodian to manage their monies to be mentally deficient. The NRA reports that Congress will now review this regulation under the Congressional Review Act with the aim to overturn it.

This is good news and I would hope that they review the similar policy or regulation at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

From the NRA-ILA:

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today scored a victory when Congress agreed to review, and likely revoke, a final rule by the Obama administration that would blindly strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights.

“Congress’s decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed and we look forward to swift congressional action.”

Last year, the Social Security Administration finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action affected the most vulnerable in America and stripped them of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration’s efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Today, we learned that Congress will review the Obama administration’s unconstitutional ban under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA allows Congress to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its last six months. This final rule falls under that time frame, and the review process is expected to move forward in the House and receive a vote as early as next week.

Imminent revocation of this egregious government action marks the culmination of the NRA’s diligent efforts on behalf of its members and law-abiding gun owners.

“This is a new era for freedom-loving Americans and the NRA is excited to begin work with our pro-Second Amendment president and Congress to ensure that law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights are respected,” concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks congressmen Sam Johnson (R-TX), Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) for their work on this effort. It would also like to thank Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for their leadership on this issue.

NRA Corrects The PolitiFact Intern

PolitiFact weighed in on the criticism of the Social Security Administration’s proposal to report 4.2 million recipients to the NICS database as “mentally defective” because they have a named fiduciary to handle their money. They rated this “false” on their Truth-O-Meter saying, “Obama has not made a sweeping move to disarm gun-owning senior citizens, as these websites claim. We rate the claim False.”

The problem with letting interns handle something like this is that they often don’t dig deep enough. The other problem is that there really isn’t any accountability as the intern will be returning to school in a few weeks.

NRA Fact Checks Politifact on Social Security Administration Gun Grab
A recent Politifact article attempted to fact check news reports about the Obama Administration’s effort to strip the gun rights of millions of Americans who receive social security and disability benefits who also have a representative payee – someone who handles their finances.
Politifact failed to consult the most relevant source of all for their story, federal law, as a result, they got it wrong.
Politifact’s website identifies the writer as a “Politifact intern.”
The following Politifact claims are FALSE:
“The new policy would not ban all Social Security Administration (SSA) recipients from owning guns. Rather, it would only affect the small fraction who are deemed mentally incompetent, and who are thus are barred from purchasing guns under the law.”
“The policy would not take away guns from people who already own them. There is no indication that this policy would take guns away from people who already own guns. Rather, the policy would affect the ability of some mentally incompetent people from buying new guns.”
The facts:
·         Social Security Administration recipients who have a representative payee have not been deemed “mentally incompetent.” That is not a legal term recognized in federal law as it relates to prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms.
·         The federal prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms apply to those “adjudicated as a mental defective.” 
·         Under the proposed new policy, individuals who have representative payees would lose the right to possess any guns they might currently own and would be prohibited from purchasing new firearms.
·         The term “adjudication,” refers to a determination made after a judicial-type process that includes various due process protections. In no case does the federal law describe or contemplate the type of prohibition by bureaucratic fiat exercised by the SSA in developing its guidelines for those with “representative payees” assigned to their accounts.
·         The SSA’s representative payee system is not the type of process envisioned by federal firearms statutes.
·         Since 1968, federal law has barred the possession or acquisition of firearms by anyone who “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”[1]
·         The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued regulations that define an “adjudication” as a “determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person is, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: (1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.” This includes a finding of insanity or incompetency in a criminal case.[2]
·         “Committed to a mental institution” is defined as a “formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, or other lawful authority.” The definition makes clear that “[t]he term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission.”  The Supreme Court has held that an involuntary commitment is a serious deprivation of liberty that requires due process of law under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[3]
·         Common reasons SSA beneficiaries request a representative payee include:
          Individual lives far from banks and grocery stores and may wish to have a family member or friend make bank deposits and grocery purchases for them;
          individual may not own a car and needs help with banking and shopping;
          individual may simply want help paying bills, or
          individual may not be good at balancing their checkbook.
[1] 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(d)(4), (g)(4).
[2] 27 CFR § 478.11.
[3] Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979).

SAF Rips Plan To Add Social Security Recipients To NICS Database

Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation didn’t mince words when they ripped into the proposal to include those who have trouble managing their Social Security checks in the NICS prohibited person database. They make an excellent point when they say that gun control supporters will see nothing wrong with this proposal.

From the SAF:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today responded to published reports that the Obama administration is pushing to prevent citizens collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if they have problems managing their own affairs as proof the president wants to strip as many people as possible of their Second Amendment rights while he remains in office.

“This could possibly disqualify millions of people from owning firearms and might prevent many others from seeking help,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, himself a U.S. Army veteran. “It’s unconscionable that someone who might have problems balancing a checkbook or managing their finances would suddenly find himself or herself stripped of their right to keep and bear arms.”

The plan, according to the Los Angeles Times, “could potentially affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.” The report says this push “is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws that prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the United States illegally, and others.”

“So, let’s see,” Gottlieb observed. “The Obama administration wants to equate some Social Security recipients who own guns with felons, drug addicts and illegal immigrants. That’s not simply insulting, it’s insidious, because who knows where this could lead?

“What’s next,” he wondered. “Will they take away someone’s right to vote, claiming they’re not competent?”

Published reports estimated about 4.2 million adults are now receiving monthly Social Security benefits that are managed by someone else, designated as “representative payees.”

“What may seem reasonable to people who reflexively support any and all gun control is really just one more effort by the Obama White House to erode Second Amendment rights any way they can,” Gottlieb stated. “Taking away someone’s Second Amendment rights because they can’t manage their finances is wrongheaded and repugnant.”

NRA Response To Social Security Proposal

The NRA-ILA issued an alert on Saturday after the story broke about the proposal to include 4.2 million Social Security recipients in the NICS database as prohibited persons. This proposal from the Social Security Administration has been traced back to a Presidential Memorandum issued in 2013. That memorandum, issued post-Newtown, ordered Federal agencies to improve the availability of relevant records for inclusion into the NICS database.

The alert does not explain why it took the SSA over two and a half years to come forward with this proposal. Moreover, the alert notes that other Federal agencies were named in the memorandum and might be expected to add even more names to the prohibited list.

There are links in the alert to communicate with your legislators.

From the NRA-ILA:

As the L.A. Times reported on July 18, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently developing a program to strip the Second Amendment Rights of over four million Americans currently receiving SSA benefits through a “representative payee.”  Not only would this amount to the largest gun grab in American history, but according to the published report, would take place without any due process protections for recipients, amounting to a nullification of Second Amendment rights for millions of Americans who don’t pose a threat to themselves or anyone else.
This new program appears to have been instigated by the SSA in response to a memorandum issued by Obama in January of 2013 which directed all federal agency executives to “improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).” This memorandum required all agency heads to submit to the Department of Justice (DOJ) a plan for “sharing all relevant Federal records” for submission to the NICS.

Take Action Now to Stop the Largest Gun Grab in American History

Are you a prohibited person? A new, unconstitutional Social Security Administration program will add over 4 million Americans to the prohibited persons list without due process. Contact your lawmakers today. Ask if you’re one of the 4 million.
Evidently, Obama’s SSA bureaucrats read “all relevant Federal records” to mean all Social Security recipients who have a “representative payee” assigned to their accounts to help them manage their payments and receipts. Obviously, many individuals swept up in this egregious case of bureaucratic over-reach would not otherwise be prohibited from owning, possessing, or acquiring firearms under federal law.
The federal prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms apply to those “adjudicated as a mental defective,” among others. The term “adjudication,” however, refers to a determination made after a judicial-type process that includes various due process protections. In no case does the federal law describe or contemplate the type of prohibition by bureaucratic fiat exercised by the SSA in developing its guidelines for those with “representative payees” assigned to their accounts.
But SSA is not alone in this directive. The memorandum names several agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, and “such other agencies or offices as the Chair may designate.” Potentially, bureaucrats in all these agencies could be working hard to identify and forward “all relevant Federal records,” to the NICS pursuant to the Obama mandate.
In total, this program could easily grow to include many more millions of Americans who have any connection to the Federal government through the various agencies named in the memorandum.
Unfortunately, this fits a pattern of abuse within the Obama Administration which is clearly hell-bent on destroying the Second Amendment in any way possible. As we reported previously (here and here), the Veterans Administration (VA) has already implemented a similar program to designate veterans as “prohibited persons”  when they have a fiduciary assigned to administer their VA benefits. Like the SSA program described above, the VA procedures are also devoid of significant due process protections or any requirement that the beneficiary be found a danger to self or others. According to the L.A Times article, 177,000 vets have been swept into NICS with the bureaucratic short-cut.
The implications of this policy are too far reaching to fathom at present. Social Security is one of the more prolific and relied upon Federal programs in American history. That Obama’s directive could so easily be implemented within the SSA suggests that bureaucrats could effectively cloak such a program in any agency within the growing leviathan that is the federal government.
Please call or write your members of congress and demand that Obama’s attempts to implement the largest gun grab in American history be stopped in its tracks.  You can contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives at 202-225-3121. You can write your lawmakers by using our “Write Your Lawmakers” tool below.

It’s Because Of All Those School Shootings By Grandmas With Alzheimers

Alzheimers and dementia are dreadful diseases. They leave an individual as a shell of their former self. It hollows them out and leaves a physical shell with no soul. As I’ve often described it to others, the person you knew and loved has died. In their place is a sweet little lady (or man) who (hopefully) brightens up when she or he sees you. They will sweetly ask you, “How is your mother?”, and act exasperated when you tell them “You are my mother”.

I have seen the ravages of Alzheimers up close and personal. My mother died of it in 2008 after suffering from it for five to six years or more. Now my mother in law Grace whom I dearly love is moving towards the middle stages of the disease.

So why am I talking about Alzheimers and dementia?

Because of this as reported on the front page of the LA Times:

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.


The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.


A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”


There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.


If Social Security, which has never participated in the background check system, uses the same standard as the VA, millions of its beneficiaries would be affected. About 4.2 million adults receive monthly benefits that are managed by “representative payees.”


The move is part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., to strengthen gun control, including by plugging holes in the background check system.


But critics — including gun rights activists, mental health experts and advocates for the disabled — say that expanding the list of prohibited gun owners based on financial competence is wrongheaded.


Though such a ban would keep at least some people who pose a danger to themselves or others from owning guns, the strategy undoubtedly would also include numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook, the critics argue.

So as the individuals – not all of whom are elderly by the way – suffer from a disease for which there is no known cure, the Obama Administration is looking for ways to rob them of even more of their dignity.

The whole idea is utterly repulsive.

If the criterion for being added to the NICS prohibited list is the inability to manage your own financial affairs, I have seen more people than I can count who would be on that list. I’m talking educated people – professionals. Many with advanced degrees and specialties. People with whom you would entrust your life if you were in the hospital yet who have debt out the ying-yang and are living paycheck to paycheck because they can’t get a handle on their finances.

Heck, if the inability to manage financial affairs was the sole criterion, most Democrats and many Republicans in Congress would be on the prohibited list given how they’ve helped screw up the economy. I’d add in every appointee in the Obama Administration that has helped grow the national debt to over $17 trillion.

So while we have a mental health system in crisis, while we have “lone wolf” Islamofascist terrorists killing unarmed Marines, while we have street gangs in major cities having more control of the city than the police, while we have young men who aren’t being treated for their psychosis engaging in mass murder, while we have all of this, the Obama Administration thinks the way to solve “gun violence” (sic) is to put grandma on the NICS prohibited list.

What the hell are they thinking?

Is This Due To Obama’s 700 Billion Cuts In MediCare Funding?

Alex Jones’ Infowars is reporting that the Social Security Administration has issued a RFQ or request for quotation for 174,000 rounds of .357 Sig 125 grain bonded hollow points.

The synopsis to the solicitation adds that the ammunition is to be shipped to 41 locations within 60 days of purchase. A separate spreadsheet lists those locations, which include the Social Security headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland as well as major cities across the country including Los Angeles, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

The article speculates about civil disturbance and the Federal government’s preparations for it. I’m not sure about that.

While I’m sure there is a perfectly logical reason behind this RFQ for 174,000 rounds of ammunition by the Social Security Administration, I prefer to think of it as preparations for dealing with all those Gray Panthers who realize that the Obama Administration just screwed them with ObamaCare.

UPDATE: The Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General responded in their blog to the reports questioning this purchase. I wonder how those Special Agents respond to an 80-year old Korean War vet with this M-1 Garand telling them to “get off my lawn.”?

We launched the “Beyond the Numbers” blog more than two months ago to open a conversation with you, whether you are a Social Security beneficiary, or you know a family member or friend who receives Social Security payments.

If you think about it, the Social Security Administration’s programs touch almost all of us at some point in our lives. That’s why we have opened several social media channels to the public, as we strive to be a transparent and accountable government organization for all of our stakeholders.

With those goals in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to address recent media reports regarding the organization’s purchase of ammunition for our special agents’ duty weapons. We should first state that the OIG follows all Federal procurement rules when arranging these purchases.

As we said in a recent post, our office has criminal investigators, or special agents, who are responsible for investigating violations of the laws that govern SSA’s programs. Currently, about 295 special agents and supervisory special agents work in 66 offices across the United States. These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests.

Our investigators are similar to your State or local police officers. They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty.

Media reports expressed concerns over the type of ammunition ordered. In fact, this type of ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies. OIG’s special agents use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety. Additionally, the ammunition our agents use is the same type used at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately. They not only investigate allegations of Social Security fraud, but they also are called to respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers.

As we explained in another post, SSA is processing more applications than ever, which means more traffic in SSA offices. Employee and visitor safety is the highest priority for OIG, which, together with the Federal Protective Services and local law enforcement, has jurisdiction over SSA workplaces.

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