GOA Has Been Defending Veterans’ Gun Rights for 45 Years
Biden Accelerates VA’s Veteran Disarmament, Promotion of Gun Control
Did you know the federal government, using its power through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has arbitrarily disarmed over 250,000 veterans using the Brady background check system?
As we celebrate Veterans Day, GOA wants to inform our members and supporters of an insidious effort to take away the constitutional rights of millions of those who served our country.
Even if you’re not a veteran, remember that what the anti-gunners at the VA are doing to vets is a trial balloon for what they want to impose on the rest of us.
I hope you can understand that it’s critically important for all gun owners to be informed and active on these issues, even if you never served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
In fact, just last week, the Biden Administration abused the tragic issue of veteran suicide to promote gun control.
How VA’s Veteran Disarmament Program First Began
As soon as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was created, anti-gun states and federal agencies began looking for records to include in the registry.
The Clinton Administration directed its bureaucrats to look for the names and records of anyone who could possibly fit into one of the prohibited persons categories.
Most agencies don’t have any real criminal records.
But some anti-gunner over at VA had a twisted idea:
“Why don’t we take the names of 83,000 veterans who use a fiduciary to handle their VA benefits—and ban them from having guns?”
Basically, the Department of Veterans Affairs looked at the prohibited persons category list in federal law—which bans firearm ownership for anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution”—and applied it to veterans who have fiduciaries.
If you’re confused or appalled to hear that, don’t worry—you’re not alone.
Why? And How Many Veterans are Currently Affected?
At present there are over 250,000 veteran records that are included in the NICS system—and they don’t belong there.
In fact, over 98% of the “adjudicated mental health” records in the background check system that were submitted by the federal government are veterans disarmed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
That figure is just staggering, isn’t it?
But get this: anyone—including a veteran—who utilizes a fiduciary to handle their daily finances is NOT subject to a federal gun ban.
But if a bureaucrat appoints a fiduciary to handle only the veteran’s VA benefits—the Department of Veterans Affairs treats that as an “adjudication as a mental defective.”
Having a bureaucrat appoint a fiduciary to handle VA benefits IS NOT the same as being adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.
This process is just an excuse to disarm Americans using anti-gun, pencil-pushing bureaucrats who live to manipulate rules within a broken system that lacks proper government oversight.
So, this method of disarmament is unique to veterans and only exists with respect to their VA benefits.
No civilian will have their God-given rights taken away for merely having a fiduciary appointed—nor should they.
Why don’t veterans have the same rights as other Americans?
The Swamp Made Things Worse
The next attack on these veterans was the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007—or what GOA referred to as the Veteran Disarmament Act.
You can think of it as the first Fix NICS bill. GOA opposed this bill from its inception.
In fact, Nancy Pelosi played cat-and-mouse with GOA for years while we blocked the passage of the legislation.
The bill would never have passed until GOP leadership struck a deal and let the House and Senate both pass it without recorded votes.
It was outrageous!
This gun control helped VA codify what they were already doing—using a bureaucratic determination to administratively declare a veteran incompetent, wrongly classifying them to be legally adjudicated as a “mental defective” or committed to a mental institution.
GOA’s Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
Ever since this betrayal, GOA has been fighting for the passage of the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act.
GOA was successful in getting this passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017.
Our fix wouldn’t allow bureaucrats to make decisions about veterans’ gun rights—just as Congress had originally intended.
The bill stalled in the Senate, but GOA hasn’t given up.
GOA’s Recent Work During the Trump Administration
During the entire Trump Administration—GOA fought to have the VA change the process from within.
The Department of Veterans Affairs should not treat fiduciary appointments as fake “adjudications as mental defectives” for purposes of firearm ownership.
In layman’s terms: VA does not have the right to ban veterans with fiduciaries from owning guns.
The VA can just do a quick rule change—like Biden’s ATF seems to always be doing—except this time to RESTORE gun rights.
Gun Owners of America teamed up with The Independence Fund, a Veterans Service Organization, and made a formal petition to VA to initiate a rule change.
We even got 21 pro-gun congressmen to back our petition for rulemaking. They wrote a letter of support to President Trump saying:
“Gun Owners of America and The Independence Fund recently filed a rulemaking petition asking VA Secretary Robert Wilke to do just that. We urge you to take this long-overdue action to respect the right of veterans to keep and bear arms.”
Representative Chip Roy also teamed up with the now-retired sponsor of the original Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act to demand President Trump act too!
Tragically, it wasn’t enough.
An executive order undoing the veteran’s gun ban and Veteran Disarmament Act reached President Trump’s desk—but remained unsigned through January 20th, 2021.
Biden has surely dumped this petition in the wastebasket.
But that doesn’t mean that gun owners should let this momentum go to waste.
Pro-gun representatives need to hear from you often on this issue!
You need to remind them that they MUST rectify this mistake.
All elected officials who campaigned on a pro-Second Amendment platform should stand up against this unjust treatment of our nation’s veterans.
Please, take action above to defend the rights of our servicemembers alongside Gun Owners of America.