Senate Republicans sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs chief Robert McDonald this week, demanding answers on how the VA has stripped more than 257,000 vets of their Second Amendment rights. According to administration rules, the VA must report any former military members with problems managing their finances to the FBI. Using this criteria, the FBI can then block those vets from owning or buying guns.
“The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms,” wrote Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
The senators say that this practice is “highly suspect,” and that the bar used to determine whether or not a veteran is financially competent is much lower than it should be to take away one of their fundamental constitutional rights.
“At no time in the process does the VA determine a veteran to be a danger to themselves or others, a key determinant for whether someone is a ‘mental defective,’ precluding the right to own firearms,” they wrote.
In a statement to The Hill, the VA acknowledged the truth of the senators’ accusation while taking issue with the phrasing. “From time to time, media has reported that VA ‘confiscates’ veterans’ firearms,” a spokesman said. “This is simply not true. VA has no authority to confiscate or ‘seize’ anyone’s firearms.”
That may be true, but they are turning this information over to the FBI, which does have the authority to confiscate. It amounts to the same thing, and all of it is being done under the watchful eye of President Obama, who is looking for any loophole he can use to take guns away from the citizenry.
Say what you will about Republicans – and there is plenty to be said – but they have been effective in at least one area: keeping Obama from enacting the worst of his gun-control policies. Republicans in the Senate and the House have been called obstructionists by the Democrats and the media, but this is the only issue where they have actually been successful in their obstructionism. Hopefully, they’ll continue that track record of success here, because there’s no excuse for this kind of obvious and unconstitutional overreach.
This is yet another reminder of why it’s so important to block Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. And why it’s so important to make sure Hillary Clinton is not the next president. Our gun rights are literally hanging in the balance.