House Stops VA from Finding Vets Mentally Unfit to Own a Gun

The House passed on Thursday a bill to prohibit Veterans Affairs from blocking a veteran from buying a gun by labeling them mentally unfit, requiring a judiciary authority to make that determination.

The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), states “a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective" by the VA "without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others."

The bill passed 240-175. Twelve Democrats voted in favor, while two Republicans -- Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) -- voted against the measure.

“I strongly believe we must do everything in our power to protect the rights guaranteed to all Americans, especially the men and women who have served, by the Constitution. The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act does just that," Roe said in a statement after the bill's passage. "I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in passing this important legislation that ensures no veteran who utilizes a fiduciary will lose their Second Amendment rights without due process.”

Roe's office also released a statement from National Rifle Association executive director Chris Cox: “No veteran should have their fundamental right to self-defense arbitrarily revoked by a government bureaucrat. Receiving assistance to handle personal finances does not mean an individual is unable to safely own a firearm. Denying veterans their Second Amendment rights with no due process is shameful. The NRA and our five million members thank Chairman Phil Roe (TN), Rep. Mike Conway (TX), and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH) for their leadership on this important issue.”

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