Isakson, Grassley Go To Bat on Behalf of Veterans’ 2nd Amendment Rights

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.

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bethebalanceTrey A. Recent comment authors
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Trey A.
Trey A.

Ok… As a veteran, this was not at the top of my wishlist from the Feds. It sounds like Isakson and Grasley want the VA to spend more time talking to veterans before they just strip their gun rights for seemingly unrelated reasons. Anything that gets potentially at risk vets more counseling is broadly a good thing. So there’s that. I’d argue that vets tend to be more “responsible” gun owners than our civilian counterparts since we’ve all had professional military training on firearm safety and use. But, vets do commit suicide with firearms at a higher rate than the… Read more »


of all the issues confronting vets, making this a priority seems odd. still, there is good cause for the existing system. the link is incapacity. the determination that you cannot handle your own finances is, broadly, a determination of incapacity, although the VA uses the term “incompetence” for fiduciary purposes. the determination is the result of professional medical evaluations evidencing the inability to make sound decisions. unfortunate, but real. the inability to handle finances and the inability to make sound decisions regarding health care and the rest of life (i.e. a need for guardianship) used to be linked, but have… Read more »