Senator Coburn Goes On The Offensive

— Asks Veteran Affairs to explain why they continue banning vets from owning guns


Senator Tom Coburn isn’t going to go away quietly. As you know from previous GOA alerts, the Republican Senator from Oklahoma has placed a hold on the noxious legislation that is being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.

Because of his actions, the Veterans Disarmament Act (HR 2640 and S 2084) has been stalled in the Senate for a few weeks. But not content to remain silent, Sen. Coburn sent a pointed letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, asking them to justify their actions.

Coburn states in his letter that the Veterans Affairs continues to send the names of “approximately 1,000 additional veterans” to the Department of Justice every month. According to the Congressional Research Service, Coburn says, this has resulted in “approximately 140,000 Veterans” being added into the NICS background check system.

“This situation is concerning to me,” he continues, “as the vast majority of these veterans have committed no crime.” Coburn correctly notes that if these veterans should continue to own a firearm, they could “unknowingly be in violation” of federal law.

Interestingly, Coburn notes that the VA gun ban for veterans is not based on their being a “danger to him/herself or others” but rather that they supposedly can’t manage their own financial affairs.

Coburn ends his letter with a very pointed request: “I respectfully request that you share with me your plans to prevent the release of more veterans’ names without due process.”

That’s the key: these brave souls are being denied their gun rights WITHOUT DUE PROCESS. Some have claimed that this bill would provide relief for those who are being unjustly denied. Of course, this is very questionable since Congress has, since 1993, defunded the ability of the BATFE to restore the rights of veterans and other victims of gun control. (This is the result of a Chuck Schumer amendment.)

Certainly, GOA would support avenues to provide relief. But the Veterans Disarmament Act is not the vehicle to do this, since the bill actually CHANGES federal law to LEGALLY BAN those 140,000 veterans from owning firearms.1 Once the bill is enacted and those veterans and other Americans are LEGALLY DISARMED, the bill then provides some limited avenues for pursuing relief — although Americans will face an uphill battle as they will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars pressing their case in court where THEY WILL HAVE THE BURDEN of proving their innocence.

Even if these expensive court battles prove successful, they are still not guaranteed to get their gun rights back. Sen. Schumer can simply offer another amendment which prevents the FBI from removing names from the NICS system, just as his 1993 amendment still defunds the ability of the federal government to grant relief TO THIS DAY.

Sarah Brady Is Lobbying Hard For The McCarthy-Schumer Bill

It’s no wonder that the Brady Bunch is plugging so hard for this bill. Several news agencies have stated that passage of this bill would represent the “first major gun control law in more than a decade.”2

Sarah Brady wants this bill bad. Her organization led a bunch of Virginia Tech survivors to Chuck Schumer’s office this week to get media attention in favor of the Veterans Disarmament Act.

And she sent out an e-mail last week urging members to donate to her organization, thus helping to get the McCarthy-Schumer bill passed. “In July, the U.S. House of Representatives took a courageous first step to keep guns out of the wrong hands by passing HR 2640, the NICS Improvement Act,” Brady said. “The Brady Campaign is working full force to convince the U.S. Senate to pass this bill immediately.”

Those who would disarm us are working hard to diminish your rights. Have you written your Senators recently?


(1) See GOA’s extensive write-up on the Veterans Disarmament Act. In this section, By one can read an analysis of the bill, plus see what others are saying about it as well.
(2) “NRA, Democrats Team Up To Pass Gun Bill”,, June 13, 2007; and “House Tempers Background Checks for Guns,” Associated Press, June 14, 2007.

ACTION: Please use the letter below to contact your Senators and urge them to join Sen. Coburn in putting a hold on the Veterans Disarmament Act. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Senator:

I urge you to OPPOSE the efforts of the Brady Campaign. This organization, led by Sarah Brady, is PLUGGING HARD for the Veterans Disarmament Act which has been opposed by the American Legion and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Have you told Senator Tom Coburn yet that you will join him in putting a hold on this legislation (HR 2640 and S 2084) which is being actively pushed by one of the most anti-Second Amendment legislators in the entire Congress — Senator Chuck Schumer?

If you have not yet added your name and placed a hold on this noxious bill, please tell me why.

Also, Senator Coburn has authored a letter (addressed to the Veteran Affairs) which asks them to justify why they have determined more than 140,000 veterans ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO OWN A GUN!

These veterans have been denied WITHOUT DUE PROCESS and even without a determination that they are a danger to society. They have been denied simply because they supposedly lack the ability to “manage [their] own financial affairs.”

Please let me know when you have joined the Coburn “hold” on the Veterans Disarmament Act. Thank you.