Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule [February 2, 2017] [open pdf - 606KB]
"The House of Representatives has scheduled floor consideration of a Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons. The rule implements provisions of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) on reporting requirements for any federal agency holding records on persons prohibited from possessing firearms. NIAA mandates that agencies must share those records with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in a computer index accessible to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As described below, some of these prohibiting records are based upon findings of 'mental incompetency' made during certain federal benefits claims processes administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since 1998 and the SSA beginning in December 2017. [...] Pursuant to both the Brady Act and NIAA, the SSA final rule specifies the conditions under which individuals are to be reported for inclusion in the NICS index as Social Security or SSI disability beneficiaries who are too mentally incompetent to be trusted with firearms or ammunition. The rule also outlines SSA's process for notifying affected individuals as well as an administrative appeals process under which such individuals may request relief from the federal firearms prohibitions. The final rule became effective on January 18, 2017; however, compliance is not required until December 19, 2017."
CRS Report for Congress, R44752
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html