Thousands of people receiving Social Security benefits could soon be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in response to an executive order issued by President Barack Obama, reports TheBlaze.
Social Security beneficiaries could be banned from owning guns if they are deemed unable to manage their own financial affairs as a result of "marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition or disease."
It is not entirely clear how the Social Security Administration will determine who is in that group of people, but it may use the same strategy as the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA reports anyone who has been determined incompetent to make payments or manage their pension, the Los Angeles Times reports.
If Social Security decides to also use this strategy, millions of people would be reported. Currently, approximately 4.2 million people receive benefits that must be managed by someone else, known as “representative payees,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Chris Cox, the head lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, issued a statement opposing the plan, remarking that "the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks," reports Newser.
Additionally, the National Council of Disability has taken a strong stance on the idea. Ari Ne’eman, a member of the council, told the Los Angeles Times the group would oppose any plan that takes away rights from people with disabilities based on the assignment of a representative payee.
The executive order came from the Obama administration after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where Adam Lanza killed his mother, 20 children and six staffers.
At the time, Congress rejected the president’s attempts at stricter gun control, and so in response, the president issued 23 executive orders on the controversial topic, reports Newser.
The recent shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, brought the debate to the center of attention once again.
"We need a change in attitude," said Obama after the massacre, according to Newser. "We have to feel a sense of urgency. Ultimately Congress will follow the people."