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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Thompson Denounces Resolution to Undermine Background Checks

Feb 2, 2017
Press Release

Washington – Today, Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force forcefully spoke against H.J. Res. 40, which would undermine the background check system for firearm purchases by prohibiting the Social Security Administration (SSA) from reporting the names of beneficiaries who cannot responsibly own a firearm to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), passage of this resolution would prevent the SSA from passing a substantially similar rule in the future—barring the agency from being able to report those who should not have firearms to the NICS background system indefinitely.

Rep. Thompson speaks on the House Floor
Click above to watch Rep. Thompson’s full remarks or visit: https://youtu.be/xlRXZe_v0oI

“I am a gun owner and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but this resolution is not about denying the right to own a gun—it is about upholding the law. And the law is very clear about who should be reported to the NICS background system. This law was passed more than a decade ago to keep guns from those who cannot responsibly own them. …

“Passage of this resolution would put Americans at risk. It would prevent the SSA from reporting the names of those who should not have a gun—indefinitely. If there are concerns about this rule, we can revise it. But the CRA process is not a revision. It would ban the SSA from even trying to fix the rule. This is a dangerous overstep, and I urge every Member to consider the safety of our districts. No one wants another Virginia Tech. No one wants another Newtown.”

The SSA regulation complies with the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which requires federal agencies to submit the records of individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm under existing federal law to NICS. The regulation states that the SSA will only report individuals who meet both of the following criteria:

  1. They have a very severe, long-term, mental disorder that prevents them from holding any kind of job—even part-time or below the minimum wage.
  2. Legal, medical, and lay evidence have indicated they are not capable of managing their own benefits.