Vets routinely denied Second Amendment rights; lawmakers debate fix

Should a veteran’s inability to handle his financial affairs deprive him of his Second Amendment rights? Each time the question has come before Congress, Democrats have said yes. Republicans and the National Rifle Association say no.

The issue threw a monkey wrench in last week’s debate on a $631 billion defense bill.

The Veterans Affairs Department routinely adds the names of vets needing financial assistance to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, denying them the right to purchase or own a firearm, according to an Associated Press report.

U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are on opposite sides of the fence on the issue. The vets haven’t been declared mentally incompetent in the traditional sense, but rather incompetent in handling their own financial affairs.

“I love our veterans, I vote for them all the time. They defend us,” Schumer said, according to the AP. “If you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun.”

The AP reported:

Currently, the VA appoints fiduciaries, often family members, to manage the pensions and disability benefits of veterans who are declared incompetent. When that happens, the department automatically enters the veteran’s name in the Criminal Background Check System.

A core group of lawmakers led by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has for several years wanted to prohibit the VA from submitting those names to the gun-check registry unless a judge or magistrate deems the veteran to be a danger. This year’s version of the bill has 21 co-sponsors. It passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee by voice vote, a tactic generally reserved for noncontroversial legislation. Coburn’s amendment to the defense bill contained comparable language.

“All I am saying is, let them at least have their day in court if you are going to take away a fundamental right given under the Constitution,” Coburn said in the Senate debate last week, the AP reported.

Of the 127,000 veterans added to the gun-check registry since the FBI launched the system on Nov. 30, 1998, only 185 have petitioned to have their names removed from the list. Nonetheless, veterans groups and the National Rifle Association express strong support for Coburn’s efforts.

“We consider it an abject tragedy that so many of our veterans return home, after risking life and limb to defend our freedom, only to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights because they need help managing their compensation,” NRA lobbyist Chris Cox wrote in an editorial published last year.

Former Navy SEAL Dom Raso agrees in the following video commentary from the NRA:

If you haven’t already, check out Professor’s spelling corrections on student papers called racist, sign of times.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • OldmanRick

    Seems dims fear armed veterans but not bad guys with guns. Go figure.

  • mcian

    It’s simple, they (the liberal left, new world order, niburu… whomever you think it is) don’t want the people that have been trained and probably have a good deal of experience with firearms having them. That… is a credible danger to them undermining the Republic.

    But the fact is all they are doing is galvanizing an already angry population, one that has a plethora of weapons at hand. You can only kick a sleeping dog for so long before it turns around and bites your ass.

    • Skip Schlueter

      Extremely well stated.

  • Jim S.

    The Only Government Branch, the Executive and it’s entire Cabinet, federal and states, consistently not only doing for us Vets but the Military personal and their Families, Finally, from day one, started even before, and the first oath to office!!!

    The Country, through their representatives certainly aren’t, the long underfunded, decades now and especially the past decade plus:

    RM: “We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
    How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free?
    Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business.” 23 May 2013

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    “12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families.” Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility

    As those hawks and oh so patriotic supporters loves their wars for free, especially the decades of results from!!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71

  • glacialhills

    I say, Lets use this same logic they seem perfectly happy using on vets,on them. If this is the new way we do things in this country so be it.

    For every politician,cop, IRS, DHS, CPS caught lying or stealing/mismanaging taxpayer money or breaking the oath they swore to defend lets take away their first amendment rights!This will mean they will no longer be able to hold office or jobs in the areas they did the lying in.

    We need to use the same BS rules they are using against us to deny us our constitutional rights and use them to fire them and get them out of office. And to those that say that they would never pass a law to be able to allow this, I say, what law did they pass to allow them to usurp the second amendment? Did not read anywhere where it says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless you are bad at managing your money??

    Its time we start fighting back, and using their own BS logic to do it.