In a move that resonates with defenders of Second Amendment rights, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), along with a group of fellow House Republicans, introduced a bill on Friday to protect American veterans’ gun ownership rights. This legislative effort, known as the “Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act,” confronts an ongoing issue within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has been quietly disarming veterans under the guise of fiduciary appointments.
The VA’s fiduciary program is ostensibly designed “to protect Veterans and beneficiaries who are unable to manage their VA benefits,” according to VA guidelines. While this program may sound benign, there’s a catch. When a veteran opts for a fiduciary to manage their benefits, their name is sent to the Department of Justice to be added to the federal no-gun list, effectively stripping them of their Second Amendment rights. This happens without any judicial oversight or a ruling that the veteran poses a risk to himself or others.
"…instead of focusing on securing the border or defeating foreign enemies like China, Democrats are set to take aim at our veterans’ Second Amendment rights."
🚨NEW FROM REP ROY: https://t.co/gWJXbdzEqp
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) August 25, 2023
Alarmingly, FBI data from this year indicates that nearly 98% of names placed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System’s “mental defective” category by federal agencies come from the VA. With hundreds of thousands of veterans affected, the issue has taken on an urgent tone.
“America’s heroes should never have to fear losing their God-given right to self-defense simply for seeking the care they have earned in the process of protecting our republic,” Roy told The Federalist.
His bill aims to rectify this injustice by barring the VA from forwarding names to the federal no-gun list unless a judicial ruling indicates the individual is a danger to himself or others. Essentially, this restores due process to veterans who have risked their lives for our freedoms yet are at risk of losing fundamental rights based on bureaucratic judgments.
The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs underlines that “Veterans deserve the same due process rights as every other American,” a statement hard to argue with. With decisions currently made by “VA general schedule employees, not a court or similar judicial authority,” according to a memo from House Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Bost (R-IL), there’s clearly a due process issue.
In a time where many are focused on political drama and cultural divides, Rep. Roy’s bill serves as a reminder of the real issues that affect everyday Americans, especially those who have already given so much. Given the trend to centralize power and decision-making within federal agencies, ensuring that individual liberties are not compromised in the process is critical.
The new bill has already garnered strong public attention and support. Only time will tell if it will find the bipartisan backing it deserves in Congress. But for now, it marks a step in the right direction for those who believe in safeguarding the liberties of those who safeguarded ours.