tv Gun Background Checks CSPAN February 14, 2017 11:09pm-12:08am EST
us for an exclusive live visit inside the national museum of african-american history and culture. live sunday and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span three. >> 's history c-span, where history them. he. fold staley. in 1979 c-span was created by public service and is brought to today by your cable or satellite provider. >> a regulation put in place by the obama administration would require the social security administration report people who receive mental health disability benefits to gun background checklist that will prevent them from buying a firearm. republicans have introduced a resolution to revoke this regulation. here here are some of today's debate beginning with chuck grassley. >> it be before i speak they
should be for the senate now ase unanimous consent that for privileges be granted this congress for daren't dive, from the u.s. secret service and to -- [inaudible] from the department of justice. >> without objection. mr >> today, come to the floor to address my colleagues about the bipartisan resolution of disapproval that i introduced on january 30, along with senator kriebel and 24 other cosponsors. this resolution has 32 cosponsors, of course this resolution of disapproval is absolutely necessary. revie the resolution is a procedure, as we know under the congressional review act for
repealing executive branch at regulations. the regulation at issue in this disapproval resolution was issued by the social securitya administration under president obama. this regulation unfairly stigmatizes people with disabilities. if the regulation is not repealed it will allow the agency to very unfairly depriver social security recipients of their second amendment rights. the regulation would result in disability recipients being reported to the national instant criminal background checkearm, system, as an eligible to own a firearm. thus, have their second
amendment rights violated. now, this is essentially a national gun ban list. the agency accomplishes this by doing two things. determining if a person has a disorder on a vague, quoteappoii unquote mental disability list and if there's a representative payee to manage benefit payments. this process has been in place for years to merely assign a representative a payee. that someone to help a recipient with their finances who is authorized to deal with the bureaucracy on the behalf of our social security recipient.
now, that is is being used to report beneficiaries to a list so they cannot buy or own a gun. of course, once on that list : individuals are prohibited as i have already inferred, from purchasing, owning, and possessing firearms. thus, violating second amendment rights. the regulation is flawed beyond any kind of repair. it results in reporting people to the done ban list that should not be on that list at all. it deprives those people forl their constitutional rights and in a very important way for the their constitutional rights
without due process. under current federal law one must first be deemed totally mentally defective before being reported to the gun ban list. however, the mental disorders must in this regulation is filled with vague characteristics that do not fit into the federal mentally defective standard. the disorder list is inconsistent with the federalo mentally defective standard. more importantly, the list was as never designed to regulatet firearms. as such, it is it is improper to use it for that purpose. many of the disorders on the list are on related to gun
safety. for example, the disorders listp includes eating disorders. disorders that merely impacts sleep or cause restlessness, even disorders could cause feelings of inadequacy. because the second amendment is a fundamental right the compelling reason to regulate and the regulation must be very nearly tailored. unfa it's unfairly stigmatizes peoplh with disabilities. the the government is essentially saying that a person with a disability, such as an eating disorder is more likely to be violent and should no longer be allowed to own a gun. g
there is no evidence to support that general idea. consequently, the people being tonight constitutional rights without to process. due if a specific individual is likely to be violent to to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it. pretty basic constitutional law. the government should have to prove if you are tonight a constitutional right. a the national council on disabilities, and that happens to be a nonpartisan and independent federal agency has said this, the rules stigmatizes his a group of people who are not likely to perpetuate the kind of violence the role hopes to address. furthermore, it deprives a a much broader class ofl r individuals of a constitutional
right that was intended by federal law. in addition, the american civil liberties union has said, and i quote, we oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people withs, mental disability, a vast and diverse group of citizens come are violent. there is no no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee and a propensity toward gun violence. " by the american civil liberties union. the consortium for citizens with disabilities, and that that is a coalition of 100 national disability groups, that consortium shares the same
concerns of our regulation, and a quote quote from them. "the current public dialogue ise inaccurate stereotyping of people with mental disabilities as violent in danger, there is a real concern that the kind of policy change encompass by this rule will reinforce those unfounded assumptions" in other words unfounded assumptions of who might be disabled or not. so, mr. president i asked that these letters be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> some of the supporters of the new gun ban have brought forth arguments to try and discredit the other side. they have said that repealing
the agency rule will allow the mentally ill to inquire firearms. let me me tell you why that is not true. under this regulation the social security administration never, ever determines a person to be mentally ill before reporting them to this gun ban list. it does not provide due process on list. once the agency places a person on the list, it then moves toocs assign a representative payee. but that is a very fraud process as well. the former social security administration inspector general said the following last year in
testimony before a committee about assigning a representative payee. d a quote from the inspector general, it is not a scientific decision, it is a personal opinion. const now, it is quite obvious under our constitution's due process that the personal opinion of a euro cry cannot be the basis for taking away a person's second amendment rights. further, in june 2015 internal social security report found significant shortcomings in the representative payee process,
namely that, and i quote from the social security report, the, the social securityrm undo determinations were undeveloped, undocumented, and insufficiently documented. and of quote. now, very, very legitimate questions can be raised. how can any of us be comfortable allowing our fellow citizens to be subjected to such a process, process that leads to the violation of constitutional rights. the regulation does not then require a formal hearing at any point. federal law, and otherring regulations require formal hearing take place. eighteen usc 922 requiresv adjudication before depriving someone of the right to own aern
firearm due to mental illness.ti there can be no adjudication if there is no hearing. in in 1986 a federal register notice says "the legislative history of the gun control act makes it clear that a formal adjudication is necessary before firearms disabilities are incurred". the obama administration knew that fundamental rights required yet at the bare minimum that requires a hearing. yet, in this rule no hearing is being afforded to that individual that will eventually have their constitutional rights
-- that ought to be considered not only a travesty, but but a travesty on the constitution as well. the constitutional due process is entirely nonexistent because there's absolutely no opportunity for an individual to challenge the proceedings against them.concerns the american civil liberties union has echoed the same concerns. i quote from the aclu, the rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the social security administration's transmittal of the names to the national instant criminal background check systemth database. end of quote from the aclu. the second amendment is veryte much being taught without a
formal dispute process to challenge the actions before constitutional right to is abridged. on these facts alone, the regulation should be repealed. p but, there is yet more. the regulation fails to establish that a person is a danger to themselves or a dangei to others before taking away the constitutional rights that the second amendment allows. if a rule on safety is to have any credibility, one would obviously think that the dange government needs to prove a person is dangerous. but, this rule fails in that regard because it does not require the agency to think a person is in fact, dangerous.
the second amendment is a fundamental right requiring the government to carry the burden. showing that a person has a dangerous mental illness. this regulation obviously and simply does not achieve that requirement. to be clear however, if this regulation is repealed, federal gun prohibitions will still exist.es or individuals with determined to be a danger to themselves or danger to others will still be prohibited from purchasing firearms. also individuals were found to have a dangerous mental illness will be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.felony o also, a person convicted of a wl felony or a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence will still be
prohibited from purchasing, owning and possessing a firearmo the same for those involuntarily committed to a mental institution. so, mr. president as government expands, liberty contracts. it follows with the expansion of government that powers that centralized in this island surrounded by reality that we call washington, d.c., rather than throughout the american people. and often with the centralization of power, the centralization of power that you see in this regulation by the social security administration, fairness is not necessarily follow. this obama era regulation is a perfect example of government
wielding too much power. the power to deny people due process. the power to deny people their constitutional. rights under the second amendment. the process i described to is extremely problematic and it calls for doing away with this rule. by passing this resolution of disapproval. it is not clear that any of these disorders person is labeled with has anything whatsoever to do with a person's' ability to responsibly own a firearm. there is insufficient to process to ensure that a person actually has a given disorder that would interfere with their safe use of a firearm.
notably, even a representative payee has been assigned, notably, even if a representative representative payee has been assigned the individual still maintains the capacity to contract. thus, the government is subject to a very low threshold to report names to the godless and no burden of proof beingthose w necessary. by contrast under this regulation, those who are reported to the list must prove the negative. in they have to prove the government is wrong. they must prove in a sense of proving the is wrong, they must prove they are not a danger in order to get their name off of that gun ban list. for the the government to shift the burden to the citizen whose rights it
is to privately is clearly unfair. it is not only unfair, it is unconstitutional. the failure to determine a person mentally ill, or that person being a danger to self, or to others is a material defect to this regulation. and so is the failure to afforde constitutional due process.fy there is no reasonable basis under this regulation to justify bridging the very important fundamental constitutional right. that is why this regulation must be repealed through the passage of this resolution of disapproval. i yield the floor.presidin
>> can you wait a minute mr. president? i asking him his consent that the senate recess from 1230 until 2:15 p.m. today. >> without objection.oval >> the center from utah. >> mr. president, the sun is currently considering hj 30 with the misguided social security regulation. it hinges on many american second amendment rights. as a cosponsor to this resolution which was filed by chairman grassley, i would like and to my voice to that of the many advocates including the nationat disabilities rights and that groups like the national rifle association that worked to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners who have expressed support for thisnd legislation. i like to express my appreciation to senator grassley and others. to advise it regularized regulab it violates the second amendment and due process rights of many
americans and should beamerican' repealed. as a longtime supporter of american's constitutional right to keep and bear arms i wasdm troubled by this regulation which allows social security administration to report individuals they considered in the words and the regulation to be mentally defective. to the national criminal background check system or next as it is called. if they have mental impairments to receive benefits to a representative payee fsa field r office employees have deemed them on able to manage their finances, however ssa's representative payee program itself is, by many accounts and
effectively administered.3, you don't have to take my word for, as recently as 2013 the government accountability office identified that ssa quote struggles to effectively administer his pay program, unquote. now our unexplained large discrepancies across various regions of the country that ssa serves the numbers of beneficiaries who are assigned by ssa field offices to be in the payee program. yet, despite these no caps and discrepancies, ssa thought the system was sufficient to determine whether some should be afforded constitutional right. under ssa's role individuals who are not stopped by ssa employees or any others to be danger of themselves or others. e
. . firearm. while we all want to make sure that the nics system works effectively to prevent violent criminals and those who actually do pose a threat from purchasing firearms, this regulation is exceedingly overbroad. moreover, it is not at all clear to me that s.s.a. employees in field offices should be put in charge of deciding who can legally purchase a firearm. of course the bureaucracies in s.s.a. who were prodded by the obama administr the two write the rules saying they will create some kind of internal structure to allow beneficiaries. the system to review the decisions said its employees are
not well equipped to make in the first place. this is particularly strangeo given that it is a standard practice to decry the agency'sey levels while also claiming it is not able on the budgetary shortfalls. mr. president, all of this simply does not add up not equipped for this kind of decision-making. is a much lower bar than the one anticipated by the applicable federal statute to determine the eligibility to purchase aal whih firearm. i encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of the resolution
that would affect my friend from oregon for allowing me to go forward. >> listening careful i want to make sure people really understand what the debate ise all about. this debate is about background checks, it's about mental health, it is not about taking away constitutional rights. i and i'm struck, mr. president. i know the distinguished senate has taken part in a lot of the debates as well. whenever there is a discussion about guns in the senate, thehe senators get out and say we shouldn't bshould be debating gn
we ought to be debating mental health. mental health and colleagues were talking about background checks. the fact of the matter is you can go into town hall meetings in any part of america for the whole idea of the background check, background check as i indicated is right at the heart of this morning's debate. supporting background checks checks position.he the opposing background check is the view.s
the poll came from 92% of themej gun owners on the background checks. let me repeat that. 92% of the gun owners in americ. support expanded backgroundangu checks. one matter has been made clear. background checks are a constitutional part of those rights. i want to make sure people understand that fundamentally this is about background checks, mental health, it's not about taking away somebody's
constitutional rights. so here's how the proposal undes discussion works. so an individual with a severe mental impairment perhaps another person, a family member is in charge of their social security benefits than the background check is to be informed by social security that a person with a severe mental impairment is ineligible to buy no a gun. you can talk about tailoring the individu critically important than individuals that wind up in the background check system that are
not treated unfairly but the fact is anyone who thinks they have been unfairly effected by l this proposal they are most likely going to win as long as they are not a danger to themselves or anyone else. and if the social security administration says no, that's c person has the power to take their case to court. so what we are talking about here is in my view is not aboutt democrats, republicans, liberals and conservatives. they were just talking about plain old unvarnished common sense. shoot we want to stop shooting by those that are in danger of hurting themselves or otherback
persons. it goes back to the shootings at virginia tech and sandy hook up with the previous administration sought to do is find common sense steps that could be taken under the law on the books and i want to emphasize this as mr. president because whenever we talk about guns with thele senators always say is let's use thyes to lifeviews the law on t. we don't need to change them into the likes of the administration sought to use the walls on the books in the previous administration to acts prevent the horrendous acts of violence that have scarred the country in recent years and i
know that the senate does something about that i hope my colleagues will oppose the in resolution and i think we are all aware in the senate that whenever you have an issue that even touches on guns, everybody goes into the corners anded, respects their corners. my own view is, and i representt a state with a great many gun owners. a lot of them involve debates about guns and overwhelmingly in a state like mine where there are a lot of gun owners, gun
owners support making sure the background checks they want to address this as a mental health issue and gun owners overw overwhelmingly say that they've just had it with congress doing nothing when it comes to practical common sense gun measures like background checks. they look at what goes on in i washington, d.c. and i've had so many gun owners. this comes up not just at town hall meetings, that we have an icon in the state. i've had people come up and talk
about issues like fred fire and say why in the world can't they be democrats and republicans to come together and do something that helps make the country a little bit safer and that's what this is about mr. president, i am not here to say this measure is a panacea that somehow this is a magical elixir that's going to reduce gun violence innce i america that's certainly not how i see these debates. i see it as addressing a commonsense practical measure relating to background checks in mental health and i listen to my
colleagues, my friends from the finance committee, senator grassley. if members of the senate feel so strongly that this particularthe measure needs addressing than there ought to be debates. they figured out how to improve the rule. but what's important is that isn't going to be possible if this resolution passes. if it is struck down on theev congressional review act. it wouldn' wasn't just scrap ths particular check. it would prevent the issue from a quite a number of years. and i'm going to talk a bit
why i feel so strongly about passed my late brother who discovered to date have suffered from schizophrenia, and impairment he started to withdraw in his teens and the condition got worse over the next few years. hhere's a couple years youngercd than me. i watched a continuing odyssey that went through various mental health facilities and run-ins with the law on the streets of n
them they will say not a day wet went by that we were not worried that he was going to hurt himself or somebody else and that was the reality for the family and that is a fear i know is seen across the country day in and day out. my brother received benefits a impa struggled with a mentalbout impairment. my dad wrote a book about it because we were so hopeful and one time, wrote a book calleded conference schizophrenia.la
but we always felt during those years that it would be a big mistake if jeff whiting could buy a gun it would have been a danger to himself. he would have been a danger to y others. and i don't think that americans should have to carry that burden and experience this type of d worry that comes along with the danger that we felt weak after week for years and household and that i know other families across the country feel as though. the president wasn't in the chair when i started this and i started by way of saying to me this is about background checks,
it's not about taking away people's constitutional rights but i can understand why other people would have a difference of opinion. that is what the senate is supposed to do to debate these issues. so nobody says there is a better way to do this, to improve it. coll colleagues, the senate and others about it. yobut you is this resolution toy and close off that gore you preempt the possibility because of the way the congressional review act actually works. so i would urge my colleagues to guns. this is what the senate says it wants to do when we talk about guns. every time the senate talks nicl
about guns, i wish i had a nickel for each time a senator gets up and says we shouldn't be working on guns we have to be working on mental health. that's what this is about. the senator from connecticut. >> thank you, mr. president. r >> i urge my republican friendst to tell those of us who want the law of the country changed to protect against gun violence that's what we should focus on is enforcing the existing law. we don't need any new walls. all we need to do is focus on the law. he said he wished he had a dime every time we focus on
background checks. come i would be a rich man if i had a dime every time republicans come down to the floorg to undermine and try to rewrite the existing wall to make it harder in order to enforce it. it is on an annual basis loaded up in that hamstring enforcement agencies to allow them to actually enforce existing laws. before us today it would make ir harder to the role of government to tell them what we would do for decades just to put t dangerous people and people that are mentally ill on the list of those that are prohibited from buying guns. that is the existing law. ment
or you have a serious mental illness and you've gone through a process which the determination has been made in the agency as such, you shouldn't be able to buy a weapon. why do we have that on the books, if we come together to pl say people with mental illness or people thaare people that han agitated shouldn't to buy weapons it is because it tells us over and over again if you committed a violent crime, it'su more likely that you will commit another one. and over and over again as the shoo scene these shooters walk into places like sandy hook elementary or a movie theater in colorado or a classroom, we know people with mental illness in
this country can go by a powerful weapo weapon and do grt damage with it. that does not mean that there in an inherent connection for mental illness and violence inll fact we know the opposite to be true. you're more likely to be damned the perpetrator. but we know in this country given the fact that the weapons are so easy to come by, people, with until illness from serious mental illness who have an o intersection rush and do great harm so we made a collectiveroby decision if you have a mental. illness you should be up t shouo go and buy an assault weapon. re section 101 is entitled enhancement requirement that the
federal departments and agencies provide relevant information to the national criminal backgrounr checks its a piece of the position both republicans and democrats supported in the command ocommandof the federal e relevant information for the criminal background checks.l it defines those that shouldn't be able to buy a gun as one thas lacks the mental capacity to manage its own affairs. so that's the existing statute to forward information to the criminal background check system on the individuals prohibited from the guns as it is the individuals that lack the mental capacity to manage his or her own affairs. that is exactly what the regulation by the administration at the end of last year.
individuals to file a claim for disability that meets the requirements of one of the eocial security's mental disorders listing of impairments had been found to be so severely impaired that they are unable th work, and they've been found with due process of being incapable to manage their own benefits and have had a representative appointed them to manage their disability benefits. those individuals meet thel definition of someone that lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.od if you are supporting this today, then you are underminingc the ability of law enforcement to do their job to enforce the law as congress has passed a. you are undermining the ability
to enforce the law. let's be clear about the dangern is. it's correct to state there is no inherent connection of teen t mentally ill and being dangeroub to risk is not just that an individual isn't going to buy a gun and use it themselves thatt an individual who can't literally deposit their own paycheck probably can't or likely can't responsibly own and protect a gun. i can sit here for the rest of the day in three sites for you a gun that was owned by one individual got used in an accidental shooting, got taken acommittee illegally stolen from the premise.
if you cannot manage your own financial affairs, how can we expect that yo he will be a responsible steward of a dangerous legal firearm? we are talking about a limited group of individuals here who bv the way under the regulation have due process to guess the determination. first of all, they have an ability to contest the determination by social security that they shouldn't be able to manage their own financial affairs and the regulation gives them the ability to specifically indivi ownership. so there is full ability to
contest this limitation which makes it completely constitutional and it's nonsense that this is a constitutional right. g the heller decision that has a right to gun ownership alsoniona makes explicit in justice scalia's opinion but there are limitations on the right and that the decision itself lists both as mentally ill. so the law is clear that federal agencies are required to upload information on those individuall that cannot manage their own financial affairs because of is mental illness. the supreme court is clear that this is entirely constitutional.
so why are we doing this, why are we having a debate about ba rolling back the criminal background check system when 90% of americans support it?ti no matter what state you live in, you tell them you voted to allow people that are mentally ill to be able to buy guns and wilyouwill not get a lot of tak. it's not because people don't have compassion for people withl mental illness. i am the last two years past the most substantial mental health reform act that this body has seen in a decade. i spend as much time as anybody advocating for the rights of people with a mental illness and treatment but i also understand that when people are so mentally ill that they cannot manage their own financial affairs, the book is a small class of people.
and mr. president, what makes me so angry about this if i have no idea how to go back to the people i represented in since connecticut to tell them that in four years since the massacre in a small-town elementary school, not only has congress passed no law, made no change in stature to try to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of would-be shooters but that today we are doing the opposite. the response to the epidemic is to make it easier for people with serious and mental illness to get guns. .. to
address mass shootings, to address the epidemic rates of gun violence in our cities, and yet we think it's so important to undermine criminal background check system, not strengthen it, undermine it in the first month of this new administration, this new congress comm repeal of a commonsense regulation. that is deeply offensive, the majority of americans who think we should be strengthening the ground check system not undermining them. they think we should have universal background checks, not only are we not listening to them, we are undermining the criminal background check system today. e i get that the gun lobby is powerful in this place, i get
they have stood in the way changes in our criminal back background system, but even i wasn't cynical enough that they could get congress to roll back, to undermine the criminal system in the continued level of gun violence all across the countrye the danger and this is not just that it has immediate impact of undermining the criminal background check system, and potentially blocks our ability to get this right in the futuref we don't know what the precedent is for series because we haveay not done that before. what we know is that you can't pass any regulation substantially similar to the
regulation that you legislated on. what does that mean in the context of keeping people serious mental illness out of the criminal background check system? it turns out we can never legislator regulate on individuals who have the right b of financial affairs restricted? or is that a broader prohibition that limits the ministrations and the ability of strengthening the criminal background checkbe system in a more comprehensivew way? you're playing with fire because this is a precedent we know nothing about. you're playing with fire becausd when 90% of the americans want us to work together on it. so understand this is a sensitive one. having my entire career working
hand in hand with committed advocates of mental illness. i understand mental illness and violence. this is a narrow category of individuals, who by definition fit the parameters in existing law for those that are supposed to be on the next system. for all of the things that we disagree about ongoing policy, i don't suspect we'll get a meeting of the minds this congress on whether all gun sales should be subject to background checks. or that will figure out a way to restrict access to assault weapons, i thought at least we agreed on keeping the background check system we have.als who the existing law says thatlu
individuals who lack the capacity to manage their own we affairs should be included on the list of those who are prohibited from buying weapons. today we are undermining the existing law. were were undermining the enforcement of current statute. something republicans have said over again they're not interested in doing. i would strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this measure. i thank you for the time. i yelled back. >> here some clips of c-span's programming last week. pamela harris gives her's first speech. >> our country needs a secretary secretary of education who has demonstrated basic competency when it comes to issues facing children. they need to know what they're talking about. when questioned the hearing by my colleague senator franklin, it was clear that the divorce did not betsy devoss did not
know the difference. >> iraqi soldiers blood were mixed with the american soldier bloods on iraqi soil we appreciate there is exception for the minority, but it is unjust and unfair to enlist iraq as a country that's considered terrorists. >> senator tim scott reflects on his hometown of charleston south carolina. >> it was in my home city of charleston where the civil war began. it was my home city where nearly 40% of all the slaves they came to america would come through charleston, south carolina.
it was a charleston that came up with the concept written into our constitution. >> members of congress conduct a panel on opiate abuse. >> because it's difficult to understand why someone would keep on doing that one of their mother overdosed is that being said to equivalent deprivation. it's extending the message that if your donate you're not going to survive. it puts your brain in a state of emergency where you will do anything to get the drug. that's needed to survive. >> jim justice gives his state of the state address. >> you elected me as your governor, person who had never been a politician in the way of me running as a democrat at a
time when donald trump on our state 17000000000%. [laughter] >> all programs are available on c-span.org. either honor home page or by searching the library. >> republican study committee and freedom caucus are two groups that develop policies in the legislative agenda for congressional republicans. we talked to the cheers of the organizations on "washington journal". this is 40 minutes.e >> joining us or to republicans to talk about their perspectives on policy and the agendas they hope to achieve in this congress. were joined by mark walker, republican of north carolina, the chair of the republican study committee and also by mark meadows, the head of this ca freedom caucus and a representative