Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, and Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., have again co-sponsored the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, a bill that will allow veterans to legally designate another person to handle their finances without being barred from owning firearms.
Right now, if a veteran legally designates another person to handle his or her affairs — a standard bureaucratic procedure done by many veterans for many reasons — the Department of Veterans Affairs classifies the veteran as “incapacitated” and notifies the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
The NICS then uses the VA’s “incapacitated “classification to prohibit the veteran, and everyone else in his or her household, from owning firearms.
“There are veterans, spouses, family members who are deprived of their Second Amendment rights based on an arbitrary decision by somebody at VA because they can’t handle their own personal finances,” Burr told the Associated Press on June 27. “These people are labeled as dangerous when it may be a physical disability that may not allow them to handle their personal finances.”
The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require that veterans be found to be a danger to themselves or others before losing their Second Amendment rights. In other words, no veteran should lose gun rights without an order by a judge, magistrate or other judicial authority.
The VA estimates that about 127,000 veterans have been put on the list because the department determined they couldn’t handle their personal finances.
A similar bill has already passed the House of Representatives. In the Senate, the proposed Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act has been filed three times since 2007.
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