NRA pushes against extending background checks to Social Security   

The National Rifle Association is convinced the White House’s move to restrict some Social Security recipients from owning firearms will amount to the “largest gun grab in American history.”

Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, appeared on the lobby group’s radio program Cam & Co to decry the move meant to bar mentally ill persons from gun ownership by closing a loophole in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

One way the Social Security Administration will determine who falls into that category is by looking at beneficiaries who have their monthly SSI payments handled by someone else. The Veterans Administration has used the same process to deny gun ownership to some 177,000 vets deemed mentally incompetent since the creation of the federal background check system some 17 years ago, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“This is literally the Obama Administration using one of the most respected and trustworthy federal programs in the history of federal programs against the people it’s there to serve,” Cox said.

The Obama administration’s ban could potentially keep some 4.2 million people identified as having a fiduciary handle their Social Security payments from owning guns.

Some 59 million Americans received an estimated $863 billion in Social Security benefits last year, according to the Social Security Administration.

“People get fiduciary help for all sorts of reasons,” Cox said. “Older people might just be tired of balancing their checkbook. They might want their wife or their son or their daughter or their husband for that matter helping them out a little bit. That literally would be a prohibited category if this administration gets their way.”

GOP lawmakers have been quick in their attempts to halt the Obama administration in following through with  its plan. House Republicans wrote a letter this week to Carolyn Colvin, Social Security’s acting commissioner, cautioning that providing the information of some Social Security recipients to the NICS system is a “broad overreach of authority and violates beneficiaries’ constitutional rights.

Republican legislators also introduced a bill to keep such information from being forwarded to the federal background check system, which contains