U.S. Army veteran (courtesy newsweek.com)
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WASHINGTON –-(Ammoland.com)- Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation along with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) to restore veterans’ Second Amendment rights. Under current practice, once the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns a fiduciary to help a veteran manage benefit payments, the VA will report that veteran’s name to the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS), commonly known as the national gun ban list.

Once on the gun ban list, a veteran is outlawed from owning or possessing firearms, resulting in some veterans who are perfectly safe to own firearms being denied their constitutional rights.

In order for veterans to get their names removed from the list, he or she must prove that they are not dangerous. That is a higher standard than the government must live by in order to place names on the list in the first place. If veterans have to prove they are not dangerous in order to get their firearms back, then the government ought to prove they are dangerous in order to take them away.

“This improper application of existing regulations to service men and women is not only unfair, but arguably unconstitutional. Our veterans shouldn’t need to jump through hoops to be granted their constitutional rights, all the while the government isn’t subject to the same standards,” Grassley said. “I’m working to correct this outrageous and, frankly, unjustifiable process quickly and to prevent future injustices for our veterans.”

“Our service members have sacrificed so much to protect our rights, and it’s critical that we ensure their rights are being protected,” Ernst said. “It’s absurd that our veterans are subject to this unjust scrutiny, and that they have been required to fight for what should be a constitutionally protected Second Amendment right. We must correct this injustice and I’m pleased to work with my colleagues to protect our veterans’ rights.”

“As a law-abiding gun owner, hunter, card-carrying life member of the NRA and Second Amendment advocate, I have always strongly supported a West Virginian’s right to bear arms and that includes our veterans. Our veterans have put their lives on the line in defense of our freedoms and should not be subject to a different standard than the Americans they defended,” Manchin said.

The Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights Restoration Act of 2018 would restore veterans’ constitutional rights by shifting the burden of proof from the veteran back to the government, requiring that before the VA reports a veteran’s name to the DOJ for placement on the NICS, the VA must first find that a veteran is a danger to self or others.

The finding must also be done either through an administrative process managed by a board of three former judicial officers or administrative law judges or through a judicial process. The legislation puts the veteran in control of choosing the forum.

Veterans already on the NICS list would be afforded the same legal avenues of redress to challenge their classification and undertake the same administrative or judicial route to remove their names from the NICS.

Importantly, this bipartisan legislation does not impede the VA’s ability to report truly dangerous individuals to the NICS and would not automatically remove all veterans from the NICS. In addition, all existing federal firearm prohibitions laws would still be in effect.

By ensuring that veterans have due process before their constitutional right to own firearms is stripped while still providing a means to report truly dangerous individuals to the NICS, this legislation both protects veterans’ Second Amendment rights and public safety.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are supportive of this legislation.

The bill text is here. A summary of the bill is here.

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  1. Tie it to the national concealed carry act and the hearing protection act (suppressor deregulation) and we might have something there.

  2. Joe Manchin should become a republican and twist their knickers in a knot. He’s sitting in a freshly minted red state as it is.

  3. If Manchin would just grow a pair and switch party affiliation to (R), he might win re-election this year. He seems to be wanting to act like an “R”.

  4. This is just one example of what a true military hating azzwipe POS Obama is. Violate a person’s constitutional rights and do it without any hint of due process and you need to be hung from a very high tree with a very short rope.

    • JD (high tree, short rope): But that means you can only do it once, instead of deserved every day.

  5. The best solution is to require the VA to follow current law to have a person adjudicated mentally ill. As soon as you start talking about new procedures you’re asking for trouble. If any of these panels get their pay from the VA, there will be a tendency to back who’s paying you.

  6. hope this goes through

    with the DemRATS in a tizzy over Dreamers aka NIGHTMARES for tax payers and REAL citizens!
    maybe we can shove stuff like this through the back door!

  7. “Once on the gun ban list, a veteran is outlawed from owning or possessing firearms, resulting in some veterans who are perfectly safe to own firearms being denied their constitutional rights.”

    And in California, the Statists now have a mechanism set up with universal gun registration to start knocking on doors and demanding guns…

  8. Oh, I’m sure that this will sail right through committee and make it all the way to the Senate floor. Then, a day or two before it is to be voted on some mass shooting will occur somewhere and McConnell will table it because “it’s just not the right time” and that’s the last we’ll ever hear of it.

    I’m not saying that this is a conspiracy, I’m just going off the pattern of literally every other pro-2A bill that has been proposed over the last year.

    • The FBI/ATF has to carry out things like Las Vegas to justify their existence somehow.

      Wanting the government to go after Illegal aliens who rob, rape, and murder Americans? You racist, these people are trying to make a better life for themselves and they’re who make America great!

      Wanting the government to do something about Islamic radicals? You islamaphobe, Islam is a religion of peace and how dare you let “a few bad apples” shape your worldview!

      You are an American citizen who wants to exercise their rights, live your life and want the government to leave you alone? You’re a threat to national security, an anti-government, anti-American right wing extremist and society demands the government utterly destroy you without due process. And if you’re a gun owner you’re responible for the actions of a few bad people and the government is definitely coming after you.

      The government has an agenda. They have they’re constituents. We as Americans aren’t it. We’re they’re enemy, and the Feds have proven that they will eagerly murder Americans citizens.

  9. Good on them. Although if the Obama admin was responsible for the reg, how difficult would it be to reverse?

  10. Oh, you mean the “Veteran’s Disarmament Bill” that the NRA shilled for is going to be repealed? Awesome. As a veteran, I can say the NRA has never been friends of the Constitutional Gun owner. Only for their bottom line.

    SAF or GOA; everything else is pissing your money away.

  11. Well thank god someone is making sure people who are incompetent to manage their own affairs have the ability to go buy guns. This is absolutely not a stupid thing to do. Way to go, guys. This really doesn’t make gun rights people look like dumbasses. I’m positive we won’t regret this. Really, no sarcasm. Great idea. Really.

    • @ Jim, I am bureaucrat, and with no ability for you to say otherwise, I think you are incompetent. You now lose your first, Second, Fourth and Fifth amendment rights.

      Oh and Obama and your gun ban groups like Everyone, bradey, VPC, all of which support complete bans, made sure Veterans seeking treatment or counselling dropped in HALF after that regulation.

      Obama plan: Go in for treatment for slight depression or anxiety — get put on a national database of persons with their civil rights/liberties denied — by a checkmark of a person with a grad degree in social work, with no due process, and without even knowing it? Good way to make sure less people seek treatment.

      Why are you gun ban advocates so afraid of an adjudicated process?

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