News Releases

March 20, 2013

Protect the rights of those who defend ours

Enzi joins effort to protect 2nd amendment rights for veterans

Designating another person to handle one’s finances shouldn’t bar America’s veterans from owning a firearm, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who cosponsored legislation introduced last week that clarifies a veteran cannot be arbitrarily stripped of their Second Amendment rights without a finding from a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority. The Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act was introduced by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Veterans who currently have a Veterans Affairs (VA) appointed trustee who helps them with their benefits and finances are deemed “mentally defective,” and may be reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The NICS is a system which prevents them from being able to purchase firearms in the U.S. The Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act would require that a judicial authority determine that beneficiaries pose a danger to themselves or others before they can be added to the NICS. The Gun Control Act prohibits individuals deemed “mentally defective” from purchasing a firearm.

“Those who served our nation so selflessly should not have their Second Amendment rights taken away based on a technicality. A judge should determine whether or not a veteran is a threat to themselves or others – a standard which is the same for civilians. It shouldn’t have anything to do with assistance they receive to manage their money or benefits,” said Enzi.

As of July of last year, more than 129,000 veterans have been placed on this list simply because VA appointed a fiduciary to act on their behalf.

“Constitutional rights should be protected for everyone, especially those who have taken an oath to defend them for all of America,” Enzi said.

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