Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued the following statement on House passage of a resolution (H.J. Res. 40) to repeal an Obama Administration rule in order to protect Americans’ right to bear arms and due process under the law:
“The Obama Administration’s rule is discriminatory and deprives law-abiding Americans of their constitutional rights. There is no evidence suggesting that those receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are a threat to public safety. Once an unelected bureaucrat unfairly adds these folks to the federal background check system, they are no longer able to exercise their Second Amendment right and face a cumbersome appeals process to remove their names from the system.
“I am pleased that the House of Representatives acted swiftly to repeal this egregious rule to send the strong message that we will protect Americans’ constitutional rights. I thank Congressman Sam Johnson for his good work on this resolution and urge the Senate to pass it without delay.”
Background: In the final days of the Obama Administration, the Social Security Administration issued a rule requiring bureaucrats to forward the names of beneficiaries who have been deemed unable to manage their own affairs to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which would prohibit them from purchasing a firearm. The rule covers people receiving Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits and who need a representative payee to manage their affairs. The people affected by this rule are not given the option to appeal the removal of their names from the database until after they’ve already lost their Second Amendment right.
When the rule was proposed, it received over 91,000 comments, most of them in opposition. The National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disabilities, has called on Congress to utilize the Congressional Review Act to repeal this rule.