A bill which prohibits Veterans Affairs from labeling veterans mentally unfit to own a gun passed in the House on Thursday, 240-175, according to a report in PJ Media.
Two Republicans — Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) — voted against the bill, while 12 Democrats approved it.
Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, states that a person who is “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective by the VA without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”
Roe stated that the men and women who have served in our military deserve to have their Constitutional rights protected. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in passing this important legislation that ensures no veteran who utilizes a fiduciary will lose their Second Amendment rights without due process,” he said after the bill was passed.
National Rifle Association executive director Chris Cox stated, “No veteran should have their fundamental right to self-defense arbitrarily revoked by a government bureaucrat. Receiving assistance to handle personal finances does not mean an individual is unable to safely own a firearm. Denying veterans their Second Amendment rights with no due process is shameful. The NRA and our five million members thank Chairman Phil Roe (TN), Rep. Mike Conway (TX), and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH) for their leadership on this important issue.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference on Thursday, commenting, “I’m sensitive to the concerns of what the due process is involved if someone is incapable of performing some of the duties that people do at a certain age as one of the judgments they make about capability of a senior. I think there should be a little better due process as to how those judgments are made. But I will — I am concerned about guns being without a better process.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) strongly opposed the bill, saying that it “completely ignores the crisis that many of our most vulnerable veterans are facing.”
According to Etsy, “The result of this bill being applied retroactively would mean that if it should pass, more than 170,000 veterans currently prohibited from owning a firearm would be able to pass a background check and buy a gun. While the Chairman expressed his sincere intent and desire that this legislation should not be applied retroactively, it’s fair to say that reasonable people disagree on how this bill would be implemented. This honest disagreement alone illustrates exactly why this House should be taking its time, on a bill that could have such a profound impact on our nation’s veterans.”
Calling the law “dangerous and misguided,” Etsy further stated that it would make it easier for veterans in crisis to obtain a firearm, because the new judicial requirement reaches higher and may be impractical for the VA to use. However, she did concede that “the current process is over-inclusive.”
H/T: PJ Media
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