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.

Is Your Senator On This List?

Following on the heels of the letter sent by House members to the BATFE came one from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and signed by 52 other senators.

You can read the letter here.

I was pleased to see that both Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Thom Tills (R-NC) were among the signatories of this letter. I’m batting three for three as my Congressman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) had signed on to the House letter.

As Sen. Grassley noted in another press release, every senator was invited to sign on to his letter to the BATFE. It was signed by 53 out of 54 Republicans and zero out of 46 Democrats. The lone Republican refusing to sign the letter was, as might be expected, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). That the few supposed Second Amendment supporters on the Democrat side of the aisle did not sign is, in my opinion, shameful.

Here are the 52 Senators besides Sen. Grassley that signed the letter:

Senators joining Grassley on the letter include Mike Rounds (R-S.D.); John Thune (R-S.D.); Cory Gardner (R-Colo.); Tom Cotton (R-Ark.); John Hoeven (R-N.D.); Joni Ernst (R-Iowa); David Vitter (R-La); Michael Crapo (R-Idaho); Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); David Perdue (R-Ga.); James Risch (R-Idaho); John Isakson (R-Ga.); Steve Daines (R-Mont.); Dean Heller (R-Nev.); Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.); Richard Burr (R-N.C.); Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Bill Cassidy (R-La.); John Boozman (R-Ark.); Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.); Ted Cruz (R-Texas); Thom Tillis (R-N.C.); Orrin Hatch (R-Utah); Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.); James Lankford (R-Okla.); Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); Deb Fischer (R-Neb.); Thad Cochran (R-Miss.); Shelley Capito (R-W. Va.); Pat Roberts (R-Kan.); Pat Toomey (R-Pa.); Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); John Cornyn (R-Texas); Ron Johnson (R-Wis.); Michael Lee (R-Utah); John Barrasso (R-Wyo.); Marco Rubio (R- Fla.); Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.); Dan Coats (R-Ind.); Bob Corker (R-Tenn.); Tim Scott (R-S.C.); Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.); Ben Sasse (R-Neb.); Roger Wicker (R-Miss.); Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.); Rand Paul (R-Ky.); John McCain (R-Ariz.); Rob Portman (R-Ohio); Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska); and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

If your senator is on this list, I have a suggestion. Send them a nice thank you email. It is something people rarely do and it will help reinforce their good behavior. You can find your senator’s contact info here.

Open Letter From The NRA-ILA To The US Senate

Chris Cox of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action released an open letter to the Senate. In it he states that the NRA is “unequivocally opposed” to S. 649. He states that the NRA will oppose any and all attempts to extend background checks, to limit firearms and magazines, or to criminalize private transfers and/or sales. He specifically includes the proposals from Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey issued today.

Dear Senator,

I am writing regarding the National Rifle Association’s position on several firearms-related proposals under consideration in the Senate.

S. 649, the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013”, introduced on March 21, contains a number of provisions that would unfairly infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. This legislation would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens, requiring friends, neighbors and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. The NRA is unequivocally opposed to S. 649.

In addition, the NRA will oppose any amendments offered to S. 649 that restrict fundamental Second Amendment freedoms; including, but not limited to, proposals that would ban commonly and lawfully owned firearms and magazines or criminalize the private transfer of firearms through an expansion of background checks. This includes the misguided “compromise” proposal drafted by Senators Joe Manchin, Pat Toomey and Chuck Schumer. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools. Given the importance of these issues, votes on all anti-gun amendments or proposals will be considered in NRA’s future candidate evaluations.

Rather than focus its efforts on restricting the rights of America’s 100 million law-abiding gun owners, there are things Congress can do to fix our broken mental health system; increase prosecutions of violent criminals; and make our schools safer. During consideration of S. 649, should one or more amendments be offered that adequately address these important issues while protecting the fundamental rights of law-abiding gun owners, the NRA will offer our enthusiastic support and consider those votes in our future candidate evaluations as well.

We hope the Senate will replace the current provisions of S. 649 with language that is properly focused on addressing mental health inadequacies; prosecuting violent criminals; and keeping our kids safe in their schools. Should it fail to do so, the NRA will make an exception to our standard policy of not “scoring” procedural votes and strongly oppose a cloture motion to move to final passage of S. 649.

Should you have any questions on these issues, please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 651-2560.

Sincerely,

Chris W. Cox