A new Obama administration plan could strip away the Second Amendment rights of millions of Americans receiving Social Security, the L.A. Times has reported. The changes would require the SSA to, for the first time, submit data on benefit recipients whose monthly benefits are managed by “representative payees” to the NICS system, which would list them as prohibited from purchasing firearms.
An examination of what NICS stands for—National Instant Criminal Background Check System—should make the problem clear. It’s intended to prevent criminals, or those determined to lack the capacity to prevent themselves from potentially doing something criminal, from purchasing firearms. There’s no reason to use NICS to ban people who simply are forgetful or bad with money, as neither are good indicators of overall competence or criminal intentions. The elderly and disabled are in fact disproportionally targeted by criminals—should we deny their right to self-defense simply because they cannot balance a checkbook?