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ICYMI: House VA Committee Reports Out Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), led a Full Committee markup of 22 bills, including his legislation to permanently restore due process rights for veterans with fiduciaries. Chairman Bost’s bill, H.R. 705, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, passed out of the Committee and is now eligible for consideration on the House floor.


In March, after 30 years of wrongful inaction and following Chairman Bost’s push, H.R. 4366, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024, included Chairman Bost’s language to prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from submitting a veteran or beneficiary’s name to the FBI’s NICS list without a judge’s consent. Following the FY24 appropriations bill being signed into law, the agency is now only able to report a veteran’s name to NICS in instances when VA is aware that a mentally incompetent beneficiary has been found by a judicial authority to be a danger to themselves or others. However, this authority would expire on September 30, 2024, without a permanent legislative fix in place or an extension in the current VA appropriations bill.


Chairman Bost made the following statement following the markup of H.R. 705 where all Democrat Committee members opposed final passage:


“It is disappointing, but not surprising, that every Democrat on our Committee opposed my efforts to ensure veterans constitutional right are protected. This is another disturbing chapter in their woke attempt to treat veterans like second class citizens,” said Chairman Bost. “My bill is not guns on demand, it’s simply allowing for the same due process, or check, that every single non-veteran American citizen has before they lose a constitutional right. I can’t wrap my head around how you could be against that, but apparently today’s Democrats do not believe that every American – including veterans – deserves their day in court. I look forward to working with my colleagues to bring this bill to the House floor immediately.”


Read Chairman Bost’s remarks on the need for H.R. 705 this week –


H.R. 705 would prohibit VA from sending a veteran’s name to the F.B.I.’s National  Instant  Criminal  Background Check  System, or NICS list, unless there is first a determination made by a judge or court that says the person could be a danger to themselves or others.


V.A. appoints a fiduciary for a veteran who is unable to manage their V.A. benefits because of any type of disability.


The fact that a veteran is unable to manage their V.A. benefits by themselves does not automatically mean that a veteran is a danger to themselves or others. 


Yet V.A. bureaucrats send the names of our veterans with fiduciaries to NICS automatically, without any determination from a court or medical professional that they are a danger to themselves or others. 


Those veterans are then prohibited from purchasing a firearm.


I must point out that civilians – even criminals - receive due process before they are stripped of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.


But veterans with fiduciaries – veterans who sacrificed for our Constitutional rights – do not receive those due process protections. 


This is unacceptable.


I’m proud that my bill’s language was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024, which was recently enacted.


But that was only a temporary solution.


H.R. 705 is a permanent solution.


If my bill does not pass, then starting in October of this year, V.A. bureaucrats will again start sending the names of veterans with fiduciaries to NICS without any due process.


We must prevent this from continuing. 


I want to thank:

• Disabled American Veterans,

• Veterans of Foreign Wars,

• the American Legion,

• Mission Roll Call, and

• the National Defense Committee, for your support of my bill. 


Together you represent the rights and interests of millions of veterans nationwide.


Just as Senator Jon Tester recently stated: “It is not right that a D.C. bureaucrat at the V.A. could take away a veteran’s legal right to firearms simply because they needed assistance managing their finances. 


Veterans who have honorably served our country should not have their Second Amendment right taken away by federal bureaucrats without their day in court.”


I want to thank Senator Tester for his words of support for my efforts.


I now urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support H.R. 705. 


Let us put an end to the violation of our veterans’ Constitutional due process rights that they fought so hard themselves to protect.


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