Number: 115-3
Date: March 2, 2017 

House Passes H. J. Res. 40,
Disapproving the NICS Rule

On February 28, 2017, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the President signed into law H. J. Res. 40, which became Public Law 115-8.  On February 15, 2017, the Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 57-43, without amendment.  The law provides for congressional disapproval of the Social Security Administration rule, “Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.”1

The CRA is an oversight tool Congress uses to overturn rules issued by Federal agencies.  If both houses pass a joint resolution of disapproval, it is sent to the President for signature.  If the President signs the resolution, the CRA provides that the rule would be deemed not to have had any effect at any time. 

In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, SSA will publish in the Federal Register the codified removal of the “Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007” rule (specifically, section 20 CFR 421) from the Code of Federal Regulations.

1 This rule codifies provisions relating to 1) identifying relevant records and reporting pertinent information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which would prevent certain individuals from possessing or purchasing firearms, 2) oral and written notification to Title II and Title XVI beneficiaries who meet the requisite criteria and whose information would be reported, and 3) establishing a program that permits the affected beneficiaries to seek relief from having their information reported.