WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst today voted in favor of a measure to reverse a last-minute final rule issued under the Obama administration, which would allow the Social Security Administration (SSA) to report certain individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in a way in which Iowans’ Second Amendment and constitutional due process rights could be violated. Senator Ernst is a co-sponsor of this legislation introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley.

On December 19, 2016, the SSA issued a final rule that allows the agency to report an individual to NICS merely upon a finding that they require a representative payee, or are in need of assistance managing their Social Security benefits, and have an impairment that meets or equals the criteria found on a broad-sweeping Mental Disorders Listing of Impairments. This final rule is particularly problematic because it may result in individuals being reported to NICS that should not be – thereby depriving them of their 2nd Amendment rights without constitutional due process.

“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their Second Amendment right without fear of being inaccurately reported to NICS,” said Ernst. “While we must enforce current federal gun laws to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands, we can and must do so in a way that respects our Constitution. Today’s passage of this legislation ensures that law-abiding Iowans’ constitutional due process and Second Amendment rights are protected.”

The following are organizations in support of this measure:

  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Arc of the United States
  • Association of Mature American Citizens
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health
  • Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
  • Disability Law Center of Alaska
  • National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
  • National Association for Rural Mental Health
  • National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
  • National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
  • National Council on Disability
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Disability Leadership Alliance
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Rifle Association
  • New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services