It’s no secret that the Democratic Party has been the enemy of gun rights for decades. What’s not as well-known, however, is that these efforts have pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs into the same mindset.
According to a 2016 article by The Hill, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1994 to try to prevent individuals with a mental illness from committing acts of gun violence.
This act has myriad legal and practical problems, but the most egregious is that it enables Veterans Affairs (the VA) to effectively strip the gun rights of thousands of veterans via neither due process nor accountability.
The Hill reported that instead of removing weapons from individuals on the basis of being an immediate threat to themselves or others, which requires a medical diagnosis, the VA determined that veterans are not capable of owning a weapon if they require a fiduciary to assist with their finances.
Fortunately, it looks as if the GOP is ready to fight for veterans’ Second Amendment rights.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Mike Bost (Illinois) have introduced the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would require that veterans would have to be legally determined to be a threat to themselves or others before having their Second Amendment rights revoked.
Similar legislation was passed by the House in 2017 with bipartisan support, but it never went further.
This latest rendition has more teeth.
“The Secretary may not transmit to any entity in the Department of Justice, for use by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” the new bill reads.
“Personally identifiable information of a beneficiary, solely on the basis of a determination by the Secretary to pay benefits to a fiduciary for the use and benefit of the beneficiary under section 5502 of this title, without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such beneficiary is a danger to themselves or others.”
In a joint statement, Cheney and Bost reaffirmed their commitment to protecting veterans’ constitutional rights.
“No one, especially those who risked their lives defending our nation, should have their constitutional rights infringed. The legislation … introduced today will ensure that the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding veterans are not hindered by government red tape, and will prevent unelected bureaucrats from denying veterans of their ability to purchase or own a firearm,” Cheney said.
“Veterans fought to defend our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment right to own a firearm. No government bureaucrat should be able to strip them of that right. This is a shameful practice that violates what our country stands for and keeps veterans from the benefits they’ve earned.
“That is unacceptable and Chairwoman Cheney and I won’t stand for it,” Bost wrote.
Whether or not the bill becomes law, it is an important step in the right direction.
Veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country, should not have their rights removed for arbitrary reasons. Furthermore, this bill indicates the GOP might truly be ready to fight for gun rights.
For the past decade, the Supreme Court has defended the individual right to keep and bear arms. The GOP, in contrast, has mainly paid lip-service to the cause.
With an administration deeply hostile to gun rights now in power, and the Democrats having control of Congress, it is time for the GOP to act as a firm barrier — not a filter — to gun control.
Hopefully, this bill will only be the start, and Democrats will learn that Americans won’t roll over and accept unconstitutional, progressive policy goals.
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