Controversy Erupts As Veteran’s Second Amendment Rights Are Upheld
The House passed a new bill that will disallow prior legislation requiring the Veteran’s Administration to report to the FBI the name of any veteran who requests help with VA benefits. These veterans are then declared “mentally incompetent” to handle a gun and placed on a no-gun list.
Veterans of all people, who fought for our country and have been trained in gun use, lose their Second Amendment rights because they need help with government paperwork.
“What it says [is] if you can’t balance a bank account, you can’t handle a firearm. There is no relation between the two,” said Florida Rep. Ken Buck. “So many people have been trapped by this overbroad rule.”
As reported by stars and stripes:
The House voted 240-175 approving the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which will now go to the Senate. Critics of the bill said it would make it easier for veterans with mental illnesses to access firearms, which would increase risk of suicide and pose a danger to families.
“It’s going to result in more deaths, more suicides of veterans throughout this nation,” retired Navy Capt. Mark Kelly said Thursday on a call with reporters.
Kelly, along with his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., created Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun-control advocacy group, after she was shot outside a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket in 2011.
Under current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs considers veterans who cannot manage their VA benefits and need another person to help with their finances as “mentally incompetent.” The department reports the names of those veterans to the FBI, which adds them to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System – the national database that gun merchants are required to check before selling a firearm.
“This hastily crafted, overbroad bill does not and will not help our veterans or our communities,” said Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., seen here at a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on March 7, 2017.
The bill would do away with that practice, and instead require the court system to determine whether veterans pose a threat to themselves or others before they’re added to the database.
Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., who sponsored the bill, said the VA was violating veterans’ Second Amendment rights. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said he worried the current practice was discouraging veterans from seeking VA care out of fear they’d be added to the list.
“The tragedy of veteran suicides has affected families across the country, including my own,” said Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., speaking of his uncle, a Vietnam War veteran who committed suicide with a firearm. “To this day, it continues to plague our communities.” Still, Takano conceded there were veterans in the FBI database who shouldn’t be there.
President Donald Trump’s administration issued a statement Thursday stating advisers would recommend Trump sign the bill into law if it passed the Senate.”
Read more here: stars and stripes
sources: wikipedia, stars and stripes, youngcons.com