Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Restore Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights

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Once on the gun ban list, a veteran is outlawed from owning or possessing firearms, resulting in some veterans who are perfectly safe to own firearms being denied their constitutional rights.

WASHINGTON –-(Ammoland.com)- Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation along with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) to restore veterans’ Second Amendment rights. Under current practice, once the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns a fiduciary to help a veteran manage benefit payments, the VA will report that veteran’s name to the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS), commonly known as the national gun ban list.

Once on the gun ban list, a veteran is outlawed from owning or possessing firearms, resulting in some veterans who are perfectly safe to own firearms being denied their constitutional rights.

In order for veterans to get their names removed from the list, he or she must prove that they are not dangerous. That is a higher standard than the government must live by in order to place names on the list in the first place. If veterans have to prove they are not dangerous in order to get their firearms back, then the government ought to prove they are dangerous in order to take them away.

“This improper application of existing regulations to service men and women is not only unfair, but arguably unconstitutional. Our veterans shouldn’t need to jump through hoops to be granted their constitutional rights, all the while the government isn’t subject to the same standards,” Grassley said. “I’m working to correct this outrageous and, frankly, unjustifiable process quickly and to prevent future injustices for our veterans.”

“Our service members have sacrificed so much to protect our rights, and it’s critical that we ensure their rights are being protected,” Ernst said. “It’s absurd that our veterans are subject to this unjust scrutiny, and that they have been required to fight for what should be a constitutionally protected Second Amendment right. We must correct this injustice and I’m pleased to work with my colleagues to protect our veterans’ rights.”

“As a law-abiding gun owner, hunter, card-carrying life member of the NRA and Second Amendment advocate, I have always strongly supported a West Virginian’s right to bear arms and that includes our veterans. Our veterans have put their lives on the line in defense of our freedoms and should not be subject to a different standard than the Americans they defended,” Manchin said.

The Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights Restoration Act of 2018 would restore veterans’ constitutional rights by shifting the burden of proof from the veteran back to the government, requiring that before the VA reports a veteran’s name to the DOJ for placement on the NICS, the VA must first find that a veteran is a danger to self or others. The finding must also be done either through an administrative process managed by a board of three former judicial officers or administrative law judges or through a judicial process. The legislation puts the veteran in control of choosing the forum.

Veterans already on the NICS list would be afforded the same legal avenues of redress to challenge their classification and undertake the same administrative or judicial route to remove their names from the NICS.

Importantly, this bipartisan legislation does not impede the VA’s ability to report truly dangerous individuals to the NICS and would not automatically remove all veterans from the NICS. In addition, all existing federal firearm prohibitions laws would still be in effect.

By ensuring that veterans have due process before their constitutional right to own firearms is stripped while still providing a means to report truly dangerous individuals to the NICS, this legislation both protects veterans’ Second Amendment rights and public safety.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are supportive of this legislation.

The bill text is here. A summary of the bill is here.

  • 9 thoughts on “Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Restore Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights

    1. Only because of Obama’s anti-gun policies did this unconstitutional practice come into existence. The purpose of the VA is medical care of our veterans of which I am one and I was black listed by his communistic goals of disarming America. I was able to get that removed in my case.

      In my experience with the VA I saw many doctors and underlings who spent more time trying to label a veteran as incapable of handling their money because they are bad in math, or because the state laws specify that accounts are joint or because the wife may help on keeping their financial business in order were denied their rights simply because the VA requires the vet to do it all!

      The VA needs to get back to taking good medical care of the vets rather than screwing them up royally for life! If they violate a patients privacy, they should spend time in jail for that violation which most of us feel our health information is private and should be protected. That is why there is a federal law that sets rules for health care providers and health insurance companies about who can look at and receive our health information. This law, called
      the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), gives you rights over your health information, including the right to get a copy of your information, make sure it is correct, and know who has seen it.

      IF HIPAA PROTECTS YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE WORLD IT MUST ALSO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, AN AGENCY WHICH IS TOTALLY INCOMPETENT TO MANAGE ANY PRIVACY OF IT’S PATIENTS!

    2. This happened to a family member recently .
      He Carried a SAW right up till his retirement date.
      Now because he has his wife as his Fiduciary he ,
      can’t buy any type of firearm what so ever .
      He lives on a farm and has livestock to protect !
      They tried it with me over VA prescribed Meds .
      Comply or lose your benefits they say.
      Had to make them read my discharge package
      (Mine are for Life period.) They came around !
      NOT GOOD VA. LIVE BY YOUR OWN RULES.

    3. We bitch about this stuff and “they” keep doing it to us. Im glad there is a little progress on fixing this but there is a long way to go to get real 2A rights backs in this country.
      Think about it. You cant deny access to a person because of skin color or religion, but you can deny access to a person carrying a firearm which also is a RIGHT. That same Outback that bans customers wearing firearms can decline us but not a person of color. How did we get so f’d up as a country.

    4. Hit the people making those rules where they live, apply the rules equally. Since all it takes for a Vet to lose their 2nd Amendment rights is to need fiduciary assistance, then any legislator who uses a tax accountant or stock broker should lose theirs. You KNOW they don’t do their own taxes or buy and sell their own stocks.

      Furthermore, since their mouths are dangerous to far more people than any single person’s weapons could ever be, they also lose their 1st Amendment rights and are required to STFU. It’s for the children.

      Just a thought, although them having to STFU is a great idea no matter what else is done.

      1. Just as Veterans (trained professional killers) are PREEMPTIVLY denied their 2nd Amendment rights so should professional politicians be PREMPTIVELY denied their 1st Amendment rights by having their tongues cut out!

    5. Great. Now how about getting rights restoration for all of the non-violent felons out there? Lie on a form sent via fax 30 years ago and lose your gun rights for life. Take an eagle’s feather home from a federal park and lose your gun rights for life. Lie on your IRS forms when you were 18 years young and lose your gun rights for life.

      No one loses their right to free speech, right of trial by jury, right against illegal search & seizure, etc. for felony convictions so the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t be treated as non-right AS IT IS NOW.

      1. Great point. “Enumerated” Rights (divinely-granted in the first place, and identified as sacrosanct by the Constitution, which specifically prohibits governmental abuse thereof) MUST all, always, be treated equally under law as such. Plain-and-simple, black-and-white, no “gray area.” End of discussion.

        Like all veterans, I swore an oath to defend that Constitution (which defines this country, and its Constitutional Republic government) against ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic. That oath carries no “sunset clause,” no time limit. I intend to uphold that oath until my dying breath,

        [Any private citizen – including politicians in their capacity AS private citizens – certainly has the 1st Amendment-protected freedom of speech – which I and all veterans fought to preserve – to speak in public about this issue (without, of course, any requirement for sane, responsible adults to actually listen to, agree with, or support such blather).]

        But understand the difference in circumstance. Any politician – in the formal capacity as a government leader – who disagrees with that Enumerated Rights ideology… is – by any and every sane, rational, moral, ethical, and legal definition – a “domestic enemy” of the United States. Any politician’s first public, verbal or written formal argument to alter that ideology, or to alter the Constitutional Republic form of government itself, should result in a federal criminal trial (on charges of sedition and perjury, at the very least). Conviction should carry death by firing squad.

        Now… should I stop mincing words, so you’ll really know how I feel about it?

    6. “In order for veterans to get their names removed from the list, he or she must prove that they are not dangerous. That is a higher standard than the government must live by in order to place names on the list in the first place. If veterans have to prove they are not dangerous in order to get their firearms back, then the government ought to prove they are dangerous in order to take them away.”

      And thus UnConstitutional in the first place,next.

      How about straightening out Veterans and the VA.

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