Chairman Bost, 49 Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Give Veterans the Due Process Rights They Deserve
Washington, February 2, 2023 | Kathleen McCarthy
Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, joined 49 lawmakers in reintroducing his legislation, H.R. 705, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, a bill to prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from sending information on veterans (or beneficiaries) who are assisted by a fiduciary to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list without a judicial ruling that they are a danger to themselves or others. This bill would ensure that veterans are afforded the same due process that every other American receives before any action is taken that would deprive them of one of their constitutional rights.
“For far too long the men and women who have fought to protect every Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms have wrongfully been discriminated against. This Congress, that ends,” said Chairman Bost. “Today I am reintroducing the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, legislation to ensure that veterans are given the same due process rights as every other American. No VA bureaucrat should have the ability to instantly strip a veteran of their 2nd Amendment rights simply because they use a fiduciary to help them manage their benefits. I have heard from veterans that this current policy stops them from going to VA for care and services. This is especially important when 6 of the 17 veterans who die by suicide every day have not stepped into VA prior to their death. If we want to end veteran suicide once and for all, we must take an in-depth look at the misunderstood policies that stop veterans from walking through the doors of VA in the first place.”
H.R. 705, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, is cosponsored by 49 Members of Congress, and is supported by 2 leading veterans’ service organizations (VSOs), including: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and The American Legion (TAL). Each of these Members of Congress and VSOs represent millions of veteran voices around the country.
“Veterans that need the assistance of a fiduciary to handle their finances have their names added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, potentially preventing them from legally purchasing and possessing firearms. The VFW opposes this practice because veterans should not lose the Constitutional rights they have fought for without proper due process, which is why we support the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act. The VFW is also concerned that this practice stigmatizes mental health by forcing veterans to choose between seeking the care they need to cope with injuries and illnesses sustained through military service and their ability to keep their firearms. The VFW is grateful Chairman Bost is seeking to make sure veterans have the ability to receive the care they have earned and deserve without fear of losing their Constitutional right to bear arms,” said Kristina Keenan, Deputy Legislative Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Veterans should not be concerned that that they could lose their Second Amendment rights when seeking mental health assistance. If it is necessary to have a fiduciary appointed to assist them, any transmittal of a veteran’s personal information to the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Instant Criminal Background Check System should be done by a judicial authority, not a bureaucrat. Every veteran deserves to have their Second Amendment rights protected,” said Vincent J. Troiola, National Commander, The American Legion.
To learn more about H.R. 705, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, click here. Bill text can be found here.