Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Outrage of the Week: Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Blocks Efforts to Restore Rights to Veterans

Friday, May 20, 2016

Outrage of the Week: Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Blocks Efforts to Restore Rights to Veterans

We have long reported on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) scandalous practice of reporting to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)  any VA beneficiary who has had a “fiduciary” appointed to help the individual manage his or her benefits. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has shown strong leadership in opposing this unjustified practice and tried to offer an amendment this week to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill that would prevent such reporting without an adjudication of dangerousness. Incredibly, anti-gun Democrats, lead by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, blocked consideration of the amendment, arguing it was better to over-report those who pose no danger  rather than risk not reporting someone who was mentally ill. 

According to an account in Congressional Quarterly, Durbin acknowledged that the current VA system likely leads to over-reporting. But Durbin called Grassley’s amendment “dangerous,” the article noted, because of his own estimate that some 8% of the 177,000 people VA has reported had been diagnosed with “serious mental illness.” This prompted Sen. Grassley to retort, “Shame on you,” before yielding the floor.

Shame, indeed. Even according to Durbin’s own figures, nearly 92% of the individuals reported by VA have not even been found seriously mentally ill, must less proven dangerous. Sen. Grassley’s amendment, moreover, would not prevent the reporting of individuals whose mental conditions rendered them a danger to self or others. It would simply require that fact to have been established by an adjudicative authority in a formal proceeding. Under the current VA reporting regime, the only threshold required for a veteran or a member of a veteran’s family to lose his or her Second Amendment rights, presumptively for life, is a bureaucratic decision that the individual is incompetent to manage his or her finances.

A fundamental pillar of America’s constitutional system is due process, the idea that government cannot take away life, liberty, or property without sufficient justification established in a formal proceeding in which the accused has a right to present his or her own case. The VA proceeding that is causing veterans and their families to lose the right to keep and bear arms not only lacks important elements of due process, it doesn’t even consider the person’s ability to safely and responsibly possess firearms. Financial acumen or wherewithal is not a sufficient, or even rational, basis for the government to deprive someone of the right to arms, certainly not someone who has served under arms in defense of his or her country!

Durbin’s move shows very clearly that he and likeminded anti-gunners aren’t concerned about public safety. They are simply concerned with reducing the private ownership of firearms by any means necessary. That they would deliberately target America’s veterans through the very agency that is supposed to support them for service-related illnesses and disabilities is perhaps the lowest expression of anti-gun bigotry.

Sen. Grassley has not given up on correcting this rank injustice, and he may try to offer his amendment again at an opportune time. Meanwhile, we can only repeat what Sen. Grassley said on the Senate Floor. Shame on you, Dick Durbin. Shame on you!

TRENDING NOW
New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

Measure Effective Immediately. Today was a great victory for gun owners in New Hampshire when Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, allowing law-abiding New Hampshirites to carry their firearms in the manner that ...

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Today, Senator Robin Webb (D-18) offered a strike and insert amendment to constitutional/permitless carry legislation, Senate Bill 7.

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Today, February 21, two important pro-gun bills passed the House of Representatives.  House Bill 1169, the constitutional/permitless carry bill, passed the House with a 83-9 vote and House Bill 1310, the school carry bill, passed ...

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by ...

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law.  Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, ...

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Multiple pro-gun bills were introduced this week in the West Virginia Legislature that seek to provide protections to West Virginians who choose to carry a firearm for self-defense. 

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Today, the House Judiciary Committee heard and passed House Bill 1200 by a 9-3 vote. 

New Mexico: Beware of "Fake News" Regarding HB 50!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Mexico: Beware of "Fake News" Regarding HB 50!

Late last week, instead of voting on House Bill 50, the New Mexico House referred the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee.

California DOJ Withdraws “Assault Weapon” Regulations

Monday, February 13, 2017

California DOJ Withdraws “Assault Weapon” Regulations

As previously reported, after the California Department of Justice submitted regulations regarding newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) for publication in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), NRA and California ...

Massachusetts: Legislation Introduced to Challenge AG Healey’s Gun Ban

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Massachusetts: Legislation Introduced to Challenge AG Healey’s Gun Ban

The Massachusetts General Court’s 2017 legislative session is in full swing with the introduction of numerous pro- and anti-gun bills.  Among the pro-gun bills are Senate Docket 1157 and Senate Docket 1889.  Both SD 1157 ...

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.