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CRAMER: House Bill Ensures Second Amendment Protections to Veterans

Mar 16, 2017
Press Release

Listen to Audio Statement Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a bill passed by the House of Representatives today protecting the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

H.R. 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, defends the right of veterans to own firearms, unless they are judged to be mentally incompetent through due process before a judge. 

The bill prevents the Veterans Administration (VA) from automatically placing veterans on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) because they have a fiduciary helping them manage their finances.  Inclusion on the NICS list may consider veterans mentally incompetent and prohibit them from legally purchasing or owning a firearm. The burden is then placed on the veteran to apply for relief from the prohibition by a VA bureaucrat.

“Just because a veteran has help managing their finances doesn’t mean the government should automatically be able to take away his or her ability to go hunting,” said Cramer. “Our bill ensures no veteran is declared ‘incompetent’ simply because the VA appoints someone to assist with the management of their financial affairs.”

Cramer said freedoms granted by the Constitution should apply to all Americans, especially the men and women who have risked their lives to protect these freedoms. “Due process means the burden of proof is on the government to demonstrate that any individual is a danger to themselves or others, not the other way around.  This loophole is another example of how the government is encroaching on our right to bear arms, and I will continue to fight for the termination of this practice and any other practice that puts our individual freedoms in jeopardy.”

This legislation is similar to a vote by the House on Feb. 2, when it passed a resolution disapproving an Obama Administration regulation infringing on the Second Amendment rights of Social Security recipients.  H.J. Res 40 passed the Senate and was signed into law on Feb. 28.  Read more here.