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Rehberg Fights to Protect Veterans from Federal Prosecution

Friday, February 6, 2009

This week, U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) urged Congress to pass H.R. 442 -- the "Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act" that he introduced in early January.  The legislation would provide a limited amnesty period for veterans who served overseas before 1968.  During the amnesty period, the veterans would be able to register war relic firearms without fear of prosecution. This amnesty would also extend to a veteran's lawful heirs who inherit these firearms. 

During WW II and the Korean War, many veterans acquired war relic firearms, which, at the time, was a lawful practice.  Under current law, however, if these firearms are not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, the veteran or his heir may be convicted of illegal possession. 

"Gun control is bad enough, but turning law-abiding veterans into criminals for possessing antique firearms obtained in combat is ridiculous," said Rehberg.  "This bill would give veterans and their heirs the opportunity to register these war relics without fear of prosecution under an unjust law." 

Commenting on the legislation, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, "The NRA supports Congressman Rehberg's "Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act."  Brave Americans who placed service to country above self, and who put their lives on the line on foreign shores should never have to fear prosecution for keeping a memento of their service.  It serves no national interest to prosecute a veteran for having a war relic."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.