Collins Supports Protecting Second Amendment Rights for Veterans

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Jessica Andrews

(202) 225-9893
Jessica.Andrews@mail.house.gov

March 16, 2017

Collins Supports Protecting Second Amendment Rights for Veterans

“It is odd that federal entities seem to find certain liberties—like the right to bear arms—less inalienable than others. I will continue to guard the constitutional rights of all Americans against groups that would undermine them, and I look forward to seeing due process restored in the question of veterans’ Second Amendment rights.”

WASHINGTON—Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) voted today to support H.R. 1181, The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, to guard veterans’ right to bear arms and to due process under the law.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) labels veterans as “mentally defective” if they receive assistance from an appointed fiduciary. In the VA system, attaching this label to a veteran sends his or her name to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Inclusion on the NICS list prohibits an individual from buying or possessing a gun. Under the VA’s system, individuals can be added to the system without any judicial determination, meaning veterans are deprived of their Second Amendment rights without due process.

“As a military chaplain, I find it disheartening that the VA allows bureaucrats to make determinations about a veteran’s constitutional right under the pretext of mental health care. Under the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, a judicial determination—rather than a bureaucratic label—would be necessary to report a veteran’s name to NICS,” said Collins.

“It is odd that federal entities seem to find certain liberties—like the right to bear arms—less inalienable than others. I will continue to guard the constitutional rights of all Americans against groups that would undermine them, and I look forward to seeing due process restored in the question of veterans’ Second Amendment rights.”

Collins also cosponsored a similar piece of legislation, H.J.Res. 40, a joint resolution of disapproval of the Social Security Administration’s implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which effectively denied millions of Social Security recipients their Second and Fourth Amendment rights. President Trump signed this resolution into law last month.

 

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