Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Let’s Honor Our Veterans by Protecting Their Second Amendment Rights

Thursday, November 10, 2011

[Editor’s Note:  This article, by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, appeared this week as an op-ed piece on the Daily Caller.]

This Friday, as we honor the courage and sacrifice of our U.S. military veterans, we should also be mindful of a terrible injustice that too many of them are forced to endure when they come home from the field of battle: the loss of their Second Amendment rights.

Today there are roughly 114,000 veterans and veterans’ family members who have had their ability to purchase a firearm in the U.S. stripped away. These are men and women who not only swore an oath to support the Constitution, but who risked their lives, lost their limbs and suffered the immense pain of separation from their families, all to defend our constitutional rights. How can this happen?

The problem arises when a veteran who is eligible for disability compensation, a pension and other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs has a fiduciary appointed to act on his or her behalf. Under current law, these veterans are deemed “mentally defective” and their names are reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which prevents them from purchasing firearms in the United States.

Yet the VA’s review process for assigning a fiduciary to a veteran in no way determines whether that veteran poses any risk to himself or others. It is only meant to determine whether or not a veteran needs help managing his or her VA benefits.

Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation last month that would eliminate this injustice, and a companion bill was recently introduced in the Senate. The “Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act” would protect all veterans from being legally judged as “mental defectives” unless a court of law finds they are actually a threat to themselves or others.

In essence, the bill would protect America’s veterans from a loss of rights that Americans who don’t get veterans’ benefits don’t have to worry about. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has fought long and hard for veterans’ rights on this issue, and we now look forward to continuing our fight in the Senate.

This is an issue that really hits home for us at NRA. Our organization was founded by military veterans in 1871, and our members have proudly served this nation ever since. A good number of the men and women in our current NRA family are either veterans themselves or have immediate family members who served in the military. Many of our members are also currently deployed far away from home, or have loved ones serving overseas.

So perhaps more than any other organization, we consider it an abject tragedy that so many of our veterans return home, after risking life and limb to defend our freedom, only to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights because they need help managing their compensation. Our war heroes deserve the same due process under the law that all Americans enjoy, and they deserve it now.

On Friday we will come together as a nation to honor our veterans for their patriotic duty, unimaginable sacrifice and profound bravery. We should also honor them by encouraging our senators to pass the “Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act.” Our government needs to treat the constitutional rights of our veterans with the same reverence it extends to other Americans.

It’s the least we can do for those who risked their lives protecting us and defending our freedom.

TRENDING NOW
H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms. Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of ...

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

News  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

According to reports from Capitol Hill, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on two gun control bills as early as next week. The first bill, so-called “universal” background check legislation, would criminalize ...

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

It’s widely understood that the current occupants of the White House, the Biden-Harris Administration, have positioned themselves as the most anti-gun team this country has ever seen on Pennsylvania Avenue. Leading up to the 2020 ...

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

This week, hearings were held on the nomination of Merrick Garland for U.S. attorney general, with a final vote on confirmation expected to come next week. The prospect for gun owners is that the nation’s ...

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

A frustrating aspect of the modern gun control movement is its seeming abandonment of reason. The same anti-gun politicians that attack the rights of law-abiding gun owners will advocate for more lenient treatment of those ...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Florida Alert! H.R. 127 - Federal Gun Control Proposal

Much is being said about H.R. 127 By Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) 117th Congress and we have had many folks contacting us seeking information. 

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

News  

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit challenging California’s ban on magazines containing more than ten rounds.

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

News  

Monday, February 22, 2021

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action applauds a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals today that upheld the state's preemption law and struck down a pair of local ordinances that restricted the ...

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

News  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On Sunday, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.