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Congressman Adrian Smith

Representing the 3rd District of Nebraska

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Smith Votes to Protect Second Amendment Rights of Social Security Beneficiaries

February 2, 2017
Press Release



Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after voting in favor of H.J. Res. 40 to utilize the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Social Security Administration’s rule which automatically adds Social Security beneficiaries with representative payees to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Smith is a cosponsor of the legislation.

“This midnight regulation finalized by the Obama administration in December arbitrarily revokes both the Second Amendment rights and due process rights of Social Security beneficiaries with representative payees,” Smith said. “Receiving help to manage one’s Social Security benefits does not correlate with the capacity to judiciously use firearms. However, under this rule, these law-abiding Americans would be reported to the NICS list with no judicial review and forced to go through an appeals process to be removed. This discriminatory rule must be stopped to protect the constitutional rights of millions of Americans.”

Smith’s remarks on the House floor:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this resolution to repeal a rule which would arbitrarily revoke the Second Amendment rights of certain Social Security beneficiaries.

The inability to manage one’s Social Security benefits does not correlate with the capacity to judiciously use firearms. 

By adding Social Security beneficiaries to the NICS list with no judicial review and forcing them to go through an appeals process to be removed, this rule would also violate the due process rights of these Americans.

I would also like to focus on the component of this rule which would inhibit the ability of Social Security Disability beneficiaries to be approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to work with or around certain materials.

Mr. Speaker, there is bipartisan agreement we should be investing in and rebuilding our infrastructure. 

There is also bipartisan agreement we should be empowering people receiving benefits like Disability Insurance to return to work if they are able to do so.

However, this rule will create a new barrier for beneficiaries seeking to return to work in industries like construction by forcing them to navigate a complex appeals process before they can be re-employed. 

Let me say again – if we do nothing about this rule, it will prevent law-abiding Americans who are able to do so from getting off the disability rolls and returning to work.

We can work together on constructive ways to prevent those who would do us harm from having access to firearms and explosives.  This rule is not the way to do so.

I urge support for the resolution, and I yield back the balance of my time.