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
Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

A group of Maryland citizens, with the support of the National Rifle Association, filed a petition to the United States Supreme Court on Friday seeking to reverse a Court of Appeals ruling that stripped some of America’s most ...

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

News  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to about 40,000 people, and like too many places around the country, gun owners there have no public range where they can practice or compete safely. That may be changing, ...

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

Back when Mark Glaze was executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and later Everytown for Gun Safety, he went to great lengths to portray his master’s anti-gun positions as moderate. Glaze used ...

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

News  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Austin, Texas, dismissed a lawsuit by several professors who sought to block the University of Texas from implementing a state law that provides for the lawful carrying of concealed ...

The Need for National Reciprocity

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Need for National Reciprocity

A report from the Crime Prevention Research Center estimates that the number of concealed carry permits issued last year was the largest increase ever – continuing a four year trend of record setting increases in ...

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

The safety record of America’s gun owners is nothing short of stunning. 

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

On July 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confirmed that law enforcement officials in New York acted unlawfully with respect to guns confiscated from a Nassau County woman in 2012.  

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP ...

California:  "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Friday, July 21, 2017

California: "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Today, July 21, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”), without warning or any notification,  submitted another set of proposed regulations for the registration of newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law.  As ...

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.