Repeal of the Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007

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Repeal of the "Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007"
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleJoint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.
Enacted bythe 115th United States Congress
EffectiveFebruary 28, 2017
Citations
Public lawPub.L. 115–8
Legislative history

The Repeal of the "Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007" (Pub.L. 115–8, H.J.Res. 40) was legislation introduced in the United States House of Representatives on January 30, 2017 by Representative Sam Johnson of Texas. The bill repeals a rule issued by the Social Security Administration that would have required Federal agencies to identify individuals who receive disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act or Supplemental Security Income and have been "determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: (1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs." in order to potentially prohibit such individuals from purchasing firearms or from having other purchase firearms on their behalf.[1] The repeal was signed into law by President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017.

Background[edit]

On December 19, 2016, during the Presidential transition of Donald Trump, the Social Security Administration issued the Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (81 FR 91702). The rule reads in part:

We will identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments under title XVI of the Act and who also meet certain other criteria, including an award of benefits based on a finding that the individual's mental impairment meets or medically equals the requirements of section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments (Listings) and receipt of benefits through a representative payee. We will provide pertinent information about these individuals to the Attorney General on not less than a quarterly basis. As required by the NIAA, at the commencement of the adjudication process we will also notify individuals, both orally and in writing, of their possible Federal prohibition on possessing or receiving firearms, the consequences of such prohibition, the criminal penalties for violating the Gun Control Act, and the availability of relief from the prohibition on the receipt or possession of firearms imposed by Federal law.

— Social Security Administration, [1]

The rule would require that the Social Security administration report to the Attorney General recipients found to be disabled in order for them to be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.[2] To qualify for reporting, an individual would have had to meet two criteria:

  • determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: Is a danger to himself or to others
  • They have to be receiving full disability benefits and couldn't find work.
  • They require the assistance of a third party to manage their own benefits.

It was estimated that around 9% of the disability awardee population would have met this criteria (75,000 individuals).[3]

Support and opposition[edit]

The bill was supported by the ACLU,[4] the National Association for Mental Health, The American Association of People with Disabilities, and the National Council on Disability,[5] the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities,[6] as well as other disability rights advocates.[7] The initial regulation was supported by the Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence,[8] Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence,[9] Democratic gun control advocates,[10] and some mental health experts.[9]

Passage[edit]

On February 2, 2017, the repeal was debated and passed in the House. The final vote was 235-180, and was tabulated mostly along party lines. 229 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted in favor, while 2 Republicans and 178 Democrats voted against.[11]

The United States Senate passed the repeal on February 15, 2017. Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, along with Independent Angus King of Maine, joined with all the Republicans in approving the bill.[12]

The repeal was signed into law by President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Federal Register:: Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007". Federal Register. December 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "No Guns for Pensioners?". Snopes. December 30, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Killough, Ashley; Barrett, Ted (December 30, 2016). "Trump signs bill nixing Obama-era guns rule". CNN. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "Gun Control Laws Should Be Fair". ACLU.
  5. ^ Beckett, Lois (February 16, 2017). "NRA and Republicans find unlikely ally on rollback of gun control rule: science". the Guardian.
  6. ^ "Grassley: Social Security's Gun Ban Regulation is Flawed Beyond Repair - Chuck Grassley". grassley.senate.gov.
  7. ^ "Trump was right to lift a rule preventing some people with disabilities from buying guns". Vox.
  8. ^ Mueller, Benjamin (February 15, 2018). "Limiting Access to Guns for Mentally Ill Is Complicated". The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b Miller, Korin. "Donald Trump Signs Bill Reversing Obama-era Gun Checks for People With Severe Mental Illness". Self.com.
  10. ^ "Trump blasted for repealing gun limits for mentally ill, but civil rights advocates were against them, too". CBC News. February 17, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  11. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll077.xml
  12. ^ https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=1&vote=00066