Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is alerting America to the latest gun grab by the Obama Administration. Now, in a shameful move, Obama’s Department of Justice has been creatively rejecting the 2nd Amendment rights of approximately 83,000 veterans who have served our country bravely.
And Sen. Grassley wants to know why! He sent a letter to left-wing Attorney General Eric Holder detailing how an overly broad reporting policy adopted by the Department of Veterans Administration (VA) has apparently listed too many veterans in a category that prevents them from legal gun ownership. The senator noted that 99.3 percent of all names reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in “mental defective” category were supplied by the VA, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service Report. Whoa!
From the letter:
The VA’s regulation appears to omit important findings and never reaches the question of whether a veteran is a danger to himself, herself, or others. Thus, a VA determination that a veteran is “incompetent” to manage finances is insufficient to conclude that the veteran is “mentally defective” under the ATF’s standard that is codified in federal law.
In addition, the procedural protections the VA affords to veterans are weak. First, the standard of review is particularly low for a fundamental constitutional right: clear and convincing. Hearsay is allowed. And, there are no significant checks and balances in place to ensure that there is any evidence to conclude that a veteran is a risk to the public or themselves.
Of particular concern, although VA employees can personally meet with veterans and non-veteran dependents who are receiving VA benefits, only when VA personnel meet with veterans are they directed to consider whether competency is at issue.
Thus, it appears that veterans are immediately targeted by VA personnel upon initial contact. Furthermore, when a veteran receives a letter stating that the VA believes he is unable to manage his finances, that veteran now has the burden of proving that he is in fact competent to manage his benefit payments and does not need a fiduciary. However, underlying the hearing is a real possibility that the right to firearms will be infringed.
That means if the veteran is having financial issues (like many seniors have), the ruling which could require them to have financial assistance could also wipe out their gun rights in one swoop. That is extraordinary, as no American should lose their rights just because they need accounting help!
Here are the 12 questions Sen. Grassley is demanding Holder answer before April 30:
1. Is the primary purpose of the NICS list to preclude firearm ownership and possession by individuals who are a danger to themselves and/or others? If not, what is the primary purpose of the NICS list?
2. Is the primary purpose of the VA’s reporting system to report the names of individuals who are appointed a fiduciary?
3. Out of all names on the NICS list, what percentage of them have been referred by the VA?
4. Do you believe that a veteran adjudicated as incompetent to manage finances and appointed a fiduciary is likewise mentally defective under the ATF standard? If so, what is the basis for that conclusion?
5. Does the standard employed by the VA to report names to the DOJ for subsequent placement on the NICS list comply with the protections of the Second Amendment? If so, please explain how, in light of due process concerns described above.
6. Given that the VA adjudication process can result in a complete infringement of a person’s fundamental Second Amendment right, do you believe that the use of the “clear and convincing” evidentiary standard is proper? If so, why?
7. Is the DOJ satisfied that all names reported from the VA for placement on the NICS are, in fact and in law, persons who should not own or possess a firearm because they are dangers to themselves and/or others? If so, what evidence supports that conclusion?
8. Given that 99.3% of all names in the NICS “mental defective” category are reported from the VA, has the DOJ reviewed the VA’s reporting standards and procedure? If so, please provide a copy of the review that took place. If no review took place, please explain why not.
9. What review process does DOJ have in place to ensure that names are properly on the NICS list?
10. How many individuals have appealed their placement on the NICS list? How many individuals were successful in their appeal?
11. In light of the fact that the Supreme Court has held the Second Amendment to be a fundamental right, has the DOJ changed any processes and procedures relating to the NICS system which were in existence prior to that holding?
12. Besides the VA, what other federal agencies have reported names to the NICS list since 2005? And how many names were reported by each agency since 2005?
Do you support 2nd Amendment rights for veterans? Please leave us a comment and tell us what you think.