The Social Security Administration has sent proposed regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on "Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007." NICS is the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 was passed in the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. That Act was designed to allow NICS to better obtain information about individuals who have a history of severe psychiatric problems which might make them dangerous.
Before anyone gets too excited about this, let me give a brief sketch about what happens next in the process which must be followed if these proposed regulations are to come into effect. First, OMB must approve them. Ordinarily, this takes at least a few weeks. Second, Social Security must publish the proposed regulations in the Federal Register in what's called a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM). The public is allowed comment on the NPRM. Generally, the public is given 60 days to comment but this time period is usually extended for an NPRM that attracts much public attention. Social Security must then review the comments, perhaps alter the proposed regulations to some extent, and them publish them in the Federal Register again so that they may go into effect. This process normally takes a year or more even for regulations that attract only a few comments. This NPRM will attract thousands of comments. They'll be repetitive but employees still have to catalog them. I have no idea how long it will take Social Security to deal with the comments but it will be a big job. Without truly extraordinary efforts there is no way this proposal will go into effect while Barack Obama is still President.