President Obama, who has repeatedly said that he regards his stunted efforts on gun control the biggest failure of his presidency, unleashed a series of executive orders in January aimed at correcting his self-perceived shortcomings. In doing so, however, he alarmed millions of Americans who saw the actions as part of a larger effort to minimize the protections of the Second Amendment.
The multi-faceted actions ranged from the symbolic to the disturbing, but one of them in particular struck Sen. Rand Paul as blatantly unconstitutional. Obama declared that the Social Security Administration would begin reporting beneficiaries with mental health issues to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Anyone previously determined to be mentally unfit to handle their finances would be automatically barred from buying or owning a gun. While Americans on both side of the ideological divide agree that we need to do more to keep guns away from the mentally ill, there’s a huge difference between financial incompetence and psychopathic tendencies. Sen. Paul wants to make sure that Obama’s actions don’t take fundamental rights away from Americans without cause.
“The Obama administration is at it again, and this time they are unilaterally stripping gun rights from our nation’s veterans and seniors,” Paul said in a press release announcing his new legislation. “The Protecting Gun Rights and Due Process Act will provide necessary protection for gun-owning Americans, and ultimately ensure that the Second Amendment is not infringed upon.”
Paul’s bill, if passed, would temporarily prevent an individual from buying a firearm only if they are adjudicated mentally incompetent by an officer of the court. It also requires the Attorney General to certify the state’s report on the individual before their name can be added to the NICS. Finally, it blocks the SSA from reporting any beneficiary to the background check system unless that individual has been adjudicated in a court of law.
“Senator Paul’s ‘Protecting Gun Rights and Due Process Act’ will do much to block President Obama’s ability to strip the Second Amendment rights from law-abiding gun owners, veterans, and senior citizens without due process.” said the National Association of Gun Rights in a statement of support for the bill. “Furthermore, it would restore rights for thousands of law-abiding gun owners, veterans, and senior citizens who were stripped of their Second Amendment rights without getting their day in court. Once again this bill shows that Senator Paul is one of Washington’s leading advocates for gun owners and the Second Amendment.”
If you’re anything but a frothing liberal on gun issues, you shouldn’t want to see the president of the United States steal away our constitutional rights without significant cause. Hopefully, Paul’s bill will pass and we can begin slowly restoring some sanity to our laws.