WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wyoming Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., the top Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, have introduced The Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act.
The bill is designed to protect veterans’ ability to buy and own a firearm.
“No one, especially those who risked their lives defending our nation, should have their constitutional rights infringed,” Cheney said. “The legislation that Ranking Member Bost and I introduced today will ensure that the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding veterans are not hindered by government red tape, and will prevent unelected bureaucrats from denying veterans of their ability to purchase or own a firearm. Both Rep. Bost and I will fight hard to advance this legislation and bring attention to this important issue.”
According to a news release issued by Cheney’s office, under U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ current interpretation of law, if the VA appoints a fiduciary to help a veteran (or beneficiary) manage their VA benefits, then VA is required to send their name to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
As a result, they may be prohibited from legally purchasing or owning a firearm, despite there being no evidence that those who need a fiduciary are more prone to violence than others. Moreover, these consequential decisions are made by VA general schedule employees, not a court or similar judicial authority, which singles out only VA beneficiaries. Hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members have been denied their constitutional right to bear arms because of this practice, according to Cheney and Bost.
The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would prohibit VA from sending information on veterans (or beneficiaries) who are assisted by a fiduciary to NICS without a judicial ruling that they are a danger to themselves or others.