WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) – today voted to support an amendment he co-led that would prevent veterans from losing their Second Amendment right to purchase or own firearms when they receive help managing their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. The amendment is based on the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act -- legislation introduced by Sens. Moran and John Kennedy (R-La.).
Under current law, the VA is required to send a beneficiary’s name to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) whenever a fiduciary is appointed to help a beneficiary manage his or her VA benefits. Ultimately, VA employees decide whether beneficiaries receive help from a fiduciary.
This amendment would prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from transmitting personal information through the VA fiduciary program to NICS unless a relevant judicial authority rules that the beneficiary is a danger to himself or others.
“Veterans should not have to choose between seeking help from the VA to manage their benefits and forfeiting their Second Amendment rights,” said Sen. Moran. “Our nation’s policies should encourage veterans to utilize the services provided by the VA, rather than driving them away by denying them their due process.”
“Each veteran, regardless of disability, should maintain the right to possess a firearm unless deemed unfit to possess weapons by a judicial authority with the full benefit of due process,” said Daniel J. Seehafer, The American Legion National Commander. “Any constitutional right should be protected with this same expectation of careful scrutiny, to ensure that no right is removed without due process.”
This amendment is also supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the National Defense Committee.
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