HB 1696, which is expected to be considered by the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 10, would extend the expansion of ObamaCare-related Medicaid coverage through 2018 or 2020 (depending on whether an amendment to the bill is accepted or not).
In view of the anti-gun “executive actions” announced by Barack Obama on January 5, such an extension could have serious anti-gun ramifications. And that’s why we are asking House members to oppose that legislation — at the very least, until it is amended to deal with its anti-gun aspects.
Since the passage of the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, it has been theoretically possible to use diagnoses under Medicaid to strip recipients of their Second Amendment right to possess a firearm. Just because someone has seen a psychiatrist or psychologist does not mean they are dangerous or violent.
Thus, Medicaid recipients with PTSD, early-onset Alzheimer’s, post partem depression, and any of a host of other disabilities could simply have their names forwarded to the NICS system — which would have the effect of stripping them of the right to acquire new firearms or even to keep the firearms they currently have.
That is because that act defines a “mental defective” as a person which presents “a danger [however tiny] to himself or others.”
Furthermore, the 2007 law allows that determination to be made, not by a court, but by a diagnosis by “any lawful authority,” which includes a psychiatric diagnosis in connection with any federal program.
In theory, law enforcement or military personnel diagnosed with PTSD have a right to a hearing, but only if they bear the $10,000+ cost of hiring an attorney and expert witnesses. In practice, almost no one has the resources to do this.
Prior to January 5, more than 175,000 law-abiding veterans had been stripped of their gun rights pursuant to this process by the VA.
But, up until January 5, the administration had not extended these gun bans to recipients of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
That changed with the announcement of Obama’s anti-gun “executive actions” on January 5.
Included in these “executive actions” was a move to troll the Social Security rolls for seniors and disabled persons who could have their guns taken away in much the same way that veterans had been disarmed.
The Los Angeles Times had earlier reported on rumors of such a move, and had estimated that up to 4.2 million seniors could have their guns taken away — with no real due process. Even if a senior does not wish to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, once they are deemed “lack mental capacity” they can no longer own even a single firearm. Many seniors have valuable gun collections that I am certain they would like to pass on to their children and grandchildren rather than surrender to the government.
And if social security recipients — which are NOT a high-crime demographic — are losing their guns rights, Medicare and Medicaid will not be far behind.
New Hampshire is a state which values the Second Amendment. And the last thing we need is for thousands of Granite Staters to be lured into Medicaid “free money,” only to find out that that “free money” comes at the cost of their constitutional rights.
It is might be possible to see a private psychiatrist and avoid having your name added to the NICS index. Thus, HB 1696 could become a gun ban on the poor. Everyone, rich or poor has constitutional rights.
Click here to find out who your State Representative(s) are and how to contact them. Tell them to oppose House Bill 1696 — at least until it is amended to prohibit the Obama administration from trolling the Medicaid rolls in order to strip recipients of the right to possess firearms.
Please call or email your Representatives now, don’t wait. HB 1696 will be considered as soon as Wednesday, February 10!
Thanks for your support.
Vice President & Training Director – NHFC