The Bazelon Center urges people to submit comments opposing the Social Security Administration's proposed rule to report individuals with a representative payee due to a mental impairment to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System gun database. Once placed on the database, individuals would have to prove that they are not dangerous in order to be removed.
"We think this is a misguided and damaging proposal for a number of reasons," Jennifer Mathis, the Center's director of programs, says. "First, it incorrectly presumes that having a mental impairment and a representative payee to help manage SSA benefits means that a person is more likely than others to engage in gun violence. Second, it undermines the important efforts that the current Administration has made to promote community integration, employment, and housing for people with disabilities by conveying to landlords, employers, prospective neighbors, and community members that people with disabilities are dangerous and should be feared rather than welcomed into communities, workplaces, and housing. Third, the proposal would place tremendous strain on already-scarce Social Security Administration resources in order to staff the 'relief' process for people wishing to challenge their placement on the database. The proposed rule would appear to call for agency staff who lack expertise in making determinations about who is or is not dangerous to make such determinations at a time when the agency is struggling with an enormous backlog of benefits applications and record wait times for the processing of benefits applications."
The proposed rule can be found here:
The deadline for submitting comments is Tuesday, July 5. Click here to download a letter that can be used as a template for comments. To submit comments, go tohttps://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=SSA-2016-0011-0001.