In a press release dispersed by Senator Johnny Isakson’s office on Tuesday, it was described that Senators Johnny Isakson and Chuck Grassley recently authored a letter to the VA Secretary, Robert McDonald. The senators both expressed concern over the VA’s current practice of placing veterans on a gun ban list without first determining whether or not the veterans in question would pose a danger to themselves or others. Isakson and Grassley both assert their belief that this is a direct affront to the 2nd Amendment rights of U.S. veterans.
Under the current practice, the VA has the power to determine whether or not a veteran has the capacity to manage their own affairs and finances, and if that is found not to be the case, a fiduciary is appointed to manage the veteran in question’s affairs. Once this takes place, the veteran is reported to the DoJ’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System list. This list effectively bars the veteran from owning or possessing a firearm.
However, it has recently been found that the VA neglects to examine the vet’s mental stability prior to placing them on the gun ban list. Both Isakson and Grassley have expressed concern over this, demanding that Secretary McDonald give his own reasoning behind linking the ability to manage finances to the ability to own a firearm. Both senators believe that to place veterans on a gun ban list without first examining whether or not they are a danger to themselves or others is a direct violation of their 2nd Amendment rights.
Summarizing their concerns, the senators wrote this:
“It is essential to ensure that the process by which the VA reports names to the Department of Justice for placement on the NICS list recognizes and protects the fundamental nature of veterans’ rights under the Second Amendment.”
The full text of the release may be found here, while the full text of the letter may be found here.