The house just passed a controversial bill, which states the Veterans Administration is not allowed to place any vet on a “no gun list,” even if the VA feels their mentally ill.
Opponents of the bill say 20 service members commit suicide a day, most using a gun.
However, proponents of the bill say criteria for classifying veterans as having a “mental illness” should have no part in determining their capability of responsible gun ownership and would rob them of their Second Amendment rights without due process.
In other words, just because you can’t balance a checkbook, doesn’t mean you are incapable of responsibly owning and operating a firearm.
From Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON – The House on Thursday passed legislation prohibiting the Department of Veterans Affairs from placing veterans on a no-gun list, despite outcry from some Democrats and former military leaders.
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.
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.
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.
“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 Rep. Ken Buck, R-Fla., who also spoke in favor of the bill. “So many people have been trapped by this overbroad rule.”
Amy Moreno is a Published Author, Pug Lover & Game of Thrones Nerd. You can reach her on Facebook here.