Right Hooks

Bureaucrats Strip Vets' Gun Rights

Ruthless "efficiency" for some things.

Political Editors · Mar. 28, 2016

Congressional lawmakers want answers. Senators Charles Grassley and Johnny Isakson sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs asking why the agency reports any veteran who is assigned a fiduciary trustee to the FBI as mentally defective, thus stripping the veteran of their right to keep and bear arms. So far, the VA has reported to the FBI 260,000 individuals — equivalent to a quarter of the number of people in Texas who have a license to carry. While all federal agencies are required to report “mentally defective” individuals to the FBI so they can be noted in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the VA refers an astounding 99.3% of such cases. All other agencies account for just 0.7%. With ruthless “efficiency” like that coming from the same bureaucracy guilty of the wait-time scandal, does anyone suspect abuse of the system?

In a statement, Grassley said, “Our military heroes risked their lives to protect and defend this country and all that we stand for, including our most basic constitutional rights. Now the very agency created to serve them is jeopardizing their Second Amendment rights through an erroneous reading of gun regulations. The VA’s careless approach to our veterans’ constitutional rights is disgraceful.”

No one wants someone with serious mental health issues to become a danger to themselves or others because they had access to firearms. But before basic constitutional rights are denied, the question is what constitutes mental illness? And who decides?

A bureaucracy with no due process is most certainly not the answer. Yet the gun-grabbing Obama administration wants to institute a similar policy as the VA within the Social Security Administration. Our hope is that this new bureaucratic scheme won’t survive the increased scrutiny that was established through the Supreme Court’s Heller decision.

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