House passes Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act!
Time to start Lobbying Your Senators Hard!
By Jeff Knox
This important legislation has been languishing in both houses of Congress for the past several years in spite of bi-partisan efforts to get it moving. The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), was passed out of the Judiciary Committee in 2009 and placed on the Senate Calendar under General Orders where it remained awaiting action from self-avowed Second Amendment supporter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Reid allowed the bill to die with the close of the 111th Congress and it was not reintroduced in the Senate in the 112th Congress.
Now that a version of the legislation has passed out of the House, the pressure needs to be on for Senators to sign off on it and send it to the President.
Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) successfully amended the language from his bill, H.R.1898, to a broader veterans benefits bill, H.R.2349, which then passed the House on Tuesday, October 11.
The broader bill now goes to the Senate for consideration where shenanigans could strip out or seriously undermine the impact of the Rehberg language.
Contact your Senator - Especially Democrats who have gotten elected by claiming to support the Second Amendment - and urge them to vote for passage of H.R.2349 with the Veterans' Second Amendment Protection language intact.
The Veterans' Second Amendment Protection Act was introduced in response to a Veterans Administration policy of submitting names of veterans to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS firearms purchaser background check database. The VA has been submitting the names of veterans who have a fiduciary appointed to manage their financial affairs as "mental defectives" who are then permanently prohibited from possessing or having access to firearms and/or ammunition. It is not uncommon for a veteran with minor memory issues or problems such as compulsive buying or gambling to have themselves declared mentally incompetent to manage their own affairs and turn over control of their financial affairs to a spouse or relative to manage for them. Even if such an arrangement and diagnoses is temporary - such as in the case of a severely wounded veteran undergoing long-term rehabilitation or comatose patients - once the name is submitted to NICS, it is very difficult for them to ever regain right to arms.
The Veterans' Second Amendment Protection Act specifies that only veterans who have been adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others are to be submitted for inclusion in the NICS database. This simple adjustment could restore firearms rights to as many as 100,000 veterans who have had their names unreasonably submitted to NICS.
This important reform is long overdue and this is the closest we've ever come to getting it signed into law.
Your Immediate Action is Required!
Contact both of your senators AND Senate Majority Leader Reid.
Tell them that you want H.R.2349 passed with the Veterans' Second Amendment
Protection Act language retained intact. Do it Today and then do it again every few days until the bill is passed and signed by the President.
Also, please forward this Alert to every veteran and gun owner you know and re-post it on every veteran or firearms related forum, blog, and website you can find.
Our veterans deserve your support on this and the support of your senators.
For reference, here is a list of the 17 Republicans and 1 Democrat who cosponsored the Senate version of this bill in 2009:
Name [Party-ST] – Date Cosponsored
Sen Burr, Richard [R-NC] – Prime Sponsor
Sen Brownback, Sam [R-KS] - 9/29/2009
Sen Coburn, Tom [R-OK] - 3/23/2009
Sen Cochran, Thad [R-MS] - 3/23/2009
Sen Crapo, Mike [R-ID] - 3/23/2009
Sen DeMint, Jim [R-SC] - 3/23/2009
Sen Ensign, John [R-NV] - 3/23/2009
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY] - 3/23/2009
Sen Graham, Lindsey [R-SC] - 3/23/2009
Sen Grassley, Chuck [R-IA] - 3/23/2009
Sen Inhofe, James M. [R-OK] - 3/23/2009
Sen Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK] - 3/23/2009
Sen Risch, James E. [R-ID] - 8/6/2009
Sen Roberts, Pat [R-KS] - 3/23/2009
Sen Sessions, Jeff [R-AL] - 5/10/2010
Sen Thune, John [R-SD] - 3/23/2009
Sen Vitter, David [R-LA] - 3/23/2009
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] - 3/23/2009
Sen Webb, Jim [D-VA] - 3/23/2009
Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit and link is included. Text is available at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
Senators: V.A. has denied gun rights to more than 100,000 veterans