What List Are You On?

posted on September 7, 2015

A policy that strips our veterans of their Second Amendment rights would have been inconceivable even just a few years ago. But now, we have proof of just that. When the news first broke, many of us thought there was surely some kind of mistake. How could this be legal? 

The frightening part is that it wasn’t a mistake: President Barack Obama has deliberately labeled over 177,000 veterans as “prohibited persons” under federal firearms law because their financial affairs are managed by a representative payee.

As we’ve reported recently, Obama has a further gun-control effort that could infringe on the Second Amendment rights of millions receiving Social Security benefits. As with the move against veterans, Social Security recipients who use a fiduciary to handle their monthly benefits could be found incompetent and prohibited from owning a gun.  It’s a short leap to think the feds could compel doctors to turn those names over, and the Obama gun-grabbing train is never late.

The administration’s anemic response to concerned members of Congress, combined with striking policy moves that are solely intended to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights, should give us pause. What other federal agencies maintain lists that could be scrubbed for names to be added to the NICS system database? 

Numerous government institutions interact with, and maintain lists of, the elderly, minorities, the poor, native tribes, the addicted, veterans, air traffic controllers, residents of public housing, etc. Even real estate agents and cosmetologists have to be licensed by the state. What percentage of those lists could justifiably be added to the NICS list once the bar has been lowered by the Veterans Affairs Administration and Social Security Administration? Even though those lists were established for other reasons, somewhere in the White House, someone is asking, “What other agencies have names of people we can bar from owning a gun?” 

For example, the Federal Aviation Administration conducts extensive medical and psychiatric evaluations on pilots to determine whether an airman is fit to fly. In addition to two separate assessments by a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist, the FAA also requires pilots to submit copies of all prior psychiatric and substance-related hospitalizations, observations or treatment records. 

This means that the federal government knows who failed their current evaluation, as well as their entire mental health history. Conditions from years or even decades ago could adversely affect their career and are likely kept in a database, just waiting for someone with gun-grabbing intentions to appropriate names for the prohibited persons list.

Of course, there is a legitimate need to evaluate pilots. Mental disorders, as well as the medications used for treatment, may produce symptoms or behavior that could be unsafe for pilots and their passengers. But it’s no longer out of the realm of possibility that this information could be abused in pursuit of a comprehensive anti-gun agenda. Could the Obama administration start siphoning confidential medical data for the nefarious purpose of adding them to the NICS prohibited persons database, just as they did the Social Security and Veterans Affairs Administration? 

The list of databases Obama could tap into to add to the list of prohibited persons goes on. All applicants for federal jobs have to submit to a drug test. If an applicant fails, might his name be submitted to NICS as addicted to drugs and therefore too volatile to own a firearm? 

Applicants for FHA loans (federally backed mortgages) have to submit extensive financial histories. If you’ve declared bankruptcy, or if your credit score is too low because you habitually don’t pay your bills, might FHA submit your name to NICS because you can’t manage your affairs. 

At the rate we’re going, couldn’t everyone who has ever declared bankruptcy be added to the NICS prohibited persons list? Clearly most were unable to manage their finances, just like some of the veterans who require a representative payee to help with their affairs. This is all documented in court records databases, ripe for the picking.At the rate we’re going, couldn’t everyone who has ever declared bankruptcy be added to the NICS prohibited persons list?

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 10 Americans is on anti-depressants. All of those names are maintained on prescription lists, and those drugs are federally controlled substances. Add the growing number of legal doctor-prescribed painkillers and sedatives to this list, and might the Obama administration label tens of millions of people as prohibited persons?

It’s a short leap to think the feds could compel doctors to turn those names over, and the Obama gun-grabbing train is never late. These names could easily be put on the NICS list as a “common-sense” public health initiative. Might our current surgeon general find that a novel idea, and the medical community jump on board? They already want to question patients about guns in their homes.

Anyone in law enforcement could be subjected to this move as well. If we’re going to turn veterans’ names into the NICS system, who’s to say this policy won’t someday apply to police officers, federal agents or security guards? 

The cold hard truth is that someone in a position of power who is ideologically against guns and the Second Amendment is looking for lists. This is how gun control works. The weak and disenfranchised are targeted first, just as we’ve seen with the Veterans and Social Security Administrations. We need to start asking the question: Who will have their constitutional rights taken away next?


Frank Miniter
Frank Miniter

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