Veterans’ Gun Rights An Ongoing Issue
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 3, 2013 – The issue of veterans and gun rights has been a speed bump in the $631 billion defense bill.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. has attempted to halt the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) plan to place the names of some veterans into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Sen. Coburn has stated that, in order to take away someone’s Second Amendment rights, it should be adjudicated, rather than simply mandated by an automated system.
Inclusion on the list means veterans would be prohibited from owning or buying firearms. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has stated that though he loves veterans, if they have been deemed mentally unfit, they should not have possession of a gun.
“The Veterans Administration currently appoints fiduciaries, usually the family members of a veteran, to manage their pensions and disability benefits when they have been declared mentally incompetent,” said veterans disability lawyer James Fausone. “When a vet has been declared mentally incompetent, their name is automatically entered in the Criminal Background Check System.”
A group, led by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has been pushing to change that policy, allowing the addition of the name to the list, only if a judge deemed the veteran is a likely danger. This latest version of the bill, co-sponsored by 21 lawmakers, passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The legislation also has the backing of the National Rifle Association and numerous veterans’ advocacy groups.
Meanwhile, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence supports the policy by the VA. Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has stated that vets who have a traumatic brain injury or PTSD, but who do not pose a threat to others, might view the current restriction as a disincentive to seek treatment.
As of 1998, 185 of the 127,000 veterans on the gun-check registry list have worked to have their names removed, according to the VA. Veterans may appeal their diagnosis, and can petition for their firearm rights to be reinstated by the agency, if they are shown not to be a public safety threat.
James G. Fausone is a Veterans disability attorney and Veterans attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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