Over 100 House Democrats Request For Veteran Gun Ban

Over 140 House Democrats are pushing to get a gun ban added back to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Veterans could be barred from owning or purchasing guns if the Department of Veteran Affairs reported them to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System for mental issues, including using fiduciary to manage one’s VA benefits. However, an amendment introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) barred the VA from reporting veterans unable to manage their finances and benefits for a background check without getting approval from a judge.

But House Democrats are asking for the provision to be removed, a request they put forward in a letter led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).

“The Kennedy Amendment rolls back 30 years of common-sense precedent and practice which ensures that veterans who are deemed to be “mentally incompetent” are added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The current process used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make a competency determination as required by law, includes an opportunity for appeals, helps ensure that veterans who are a danger to themselves or others are flagged in the background check system if they try to purchase a firearm,” the Democrats wrote in part.

Arguing that the gun ban is a way to “protect veterans,” the lawmakers added, “We urge the Department to take several actions to protect veterans. First, we ask you to commit to creating an automatic process to seek a judicial order for veterans the Department has found to be mentally incompetent for the purposes of appropriately adding them to the NICS background check system.”

The group also demanded that the VA “complete a study on veterans who are determined to be ‘mentally incompetent,’ and the veterans who die by suicide or are involved in incidents of gun violence.”

Kennedy’s amendment was attached to the fiscal 2024 spending law enacted this month as a policy rider.

After it was adopted, Kennedy said, “Unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t be able to strip veterans of their Second Amendment rights unilaterally. The Senate did the right thing for veterans and all freedom-loving Americans by passing my amendment today.”