Senator Chuch Grassley is taking a stand for veterans, while the government they swore to protect is attacking them. Earlier this week, The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an explanation of why the DOJ gun ban list has a “mental defective” category made up almost entirely of veterans and their dependents.
All federal agencies are required to report the names of individuals that are classified as dangers to themselves or others to the National Instant Background Check System’s (NICS) “mental defective” category. Once an individual is listed under this category, they are no longer allowed to own or possess a gun. Mr. Grassley stated in his letter to the Attorney General:
“According to the Congressional Research Service, as of June 1, 2012, 99.3% of all names reported to the NICS list’s “mental defective” category were provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) even though reporting requirements apply to all federal agencies,”
The Senator questioned Holder on the review process the DOJ had in place to accurately validate names that are reported to the NICS list. He then went on to point out that the VA’s methods of listing veterans to the NICS list are too broad for the standards of, “whether or not someone poses a threat to themselves or others”.
Instead VA reports individuals to the gun ban list if an individual merely needs financial assistance managing VA benefits. Although the VA process is not designed to regulate firearm ownership, it results in veterans and their loved ones being barred from exercising their fundamental, Constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights,”
Victimizing those that have fought for our freedom is something that is despicable to me. I hope that this ignorance was just that, and the root of this issue stemmed from bureaucratic laziness rather than blatant discrimination. I hope that this severely screwed up process of generalizing veteran disabilities into one large “No You May Not Have A Gun” category is resolved in a timely manner. Most of all- I hope that something is learned from this rather than it turning into another “Sorry guys, my bad” moment for Holder and the DOJ that will be brushed under the rug like everything else.
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