Friday, Nov. 11 is Veterans’ Day, and preserving the Second Amendment rights of those who have served our nation would be a fitting tribute. This is exactly what the proposed Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act aims to do.
Sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), the legislation–adopted by the U.S. House of Legislation on Oct. 11–requires that veterans must be determined as a threat to themselves or others, in a court of law, before a bureaucrat can arbitrarily strip a veteran of his or her gun rights and add them to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) and 14 co-sponsors have submitted the Senate version of the act, S. 1707, to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It is expected to be presented to the Senate soon. Similar bills were proposed last year, including one sponsored by Burr in the Senate. It passed out of committee only to be derailed by Harry Reid and anti-gun Senate Democrats.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) can currently deem a veteran as a “mental defective” for the sole reason of having a third party appointed over their financial affairs. Veterans with mental health issues such as temporary memory loss or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), commonly turn over control of their finances to a spouse or family member.
The Federal Gun Control Act prevents people considered “mental defectives” from owning and buying firearms. People who fall under this category, including veterans, are turned over to the FBI’s NICS system. And just like that, government bureaucrats can take away a veteran’s gun rights.
Various bills remedying this injustice have languished in Congress for several years now, but the House passed one version on Oct. 11. The legislation has the support of the National Rifle Association.
“These are good, honest men and women. They are not a danger to themselves, or to others, and it is wrong to deny them their constitutional freedom,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This bill addresses this issue and rightly ensures that veterans and their family members aren’t prohibited from having guns unless they’ve been found to be dangerous.”
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