Second Amendment Rights and Disability Benefits

There is clearly a huge debate going on in this country about the Second Amendment and it the rights it actually guarantees.  There are those who believe the Second Amendment was drafted to give citizens virtually unlimited rights with respect to the ownership and carrying of firearms.  There as many who believe that a private citizen should be able to purchase a fully automatic machine gun if they so desire and that any attempt to stop them is an infringement on constitutionally protected liberties.

gunOn the other hand, there are those who believe that only the police and the military need to have pistols and assault weapons, as is the case in many European nations with much stricter gun control laws than in the U.S.  There are also many who fall somewhere in the middle of these two extreme positions.  For example, a moderate on gun control might allow people to purchase firearms, but they must compete a safety course, a background check, and are limited in what type of weapons they can purchase. As our Boston disability attorneys can explain, one of the recent proposals dealt with preventing the mentally ill from purchasing a firearm.  This issue became more relevant following the shooting at Mount Zion AME church in Charleston, where the shooter allegedly suffers from what is considered a mental illness, the type of which has not been made pubic, and he attempted to use his mental illness to avoid trial, but this obviously didn’t work since he was sentenced to death.  However, as discussed in an article published by Breitbart, former president Barack Obama, shortly before leaving office, signed an order that allows the Brady background checks access to the Social Security disability benefits rolls and issue denials for people with mental health issues.

While most disability advocates do not oppose these gun control efforts in general, they have a problem with stigmatizing disabled Americans in yet another way.  There is also a big difference between being mentally disabled for the purposes of obtaining disability benefits and being adjudicated incompetent in a court of law.

As our Boston disability attorneys can explain, there are many people who suffer from a mental illness or a combination of mental and physical illnesses that are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, this does not mean they are dangerous individuals that should be treated differently than everyone else. They already may be deal with harsh abuse about their medical conditions without the government essentially telling them they are more likely to commit acts of domestic terrorism and therefore should be denied the right to purchase a firearm.

Again, it is important to note that those disability advocates who are speaking out about this do not see it as a gun control issue, but the issue of treating Americans with disabilities with the same respect and dignity as anyone else who does not have a disability would be treated.  Even if a person does not have a listed mental impairment, if that person has someone else accepting the disability benefits on his or her behalf, the agency can assume that person has a mental illness that prevents him or her from handling their own finances.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Obama Administration Finalizes Social Security Gun Ban, December 23, 2016, By AWR Hawkins, Breitbart

More Bog Entries:

Social Security Disability Judges Allegedly Used Racial and Sexual Terms on Claimants’ Applications, July 22, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog

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