VA Revokes Second Amendment Rights of Over 250,000 Veterans

Marines (Photo:Wikipedia)

Marines! (Photo:Wikipedia)

Veterans looking to secure their Second Amendment rights may want to think twice before getting help from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to manage their finances.

The Hill reports that 257,000 former members of the military have lost their right to keep and bear arms after receiving financial management help from the VA. According to two Republican senators fighting the gun ban, the VA reports to the “mental defective” category of the FBI’s background check system any veteran to whom they assign a fiduciary.

“The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms,” Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote in a recent letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

“Under the current practice, a VA finding that concludes a veteran requires a fiduciary to administer benefit payments effectively voids his Second Amendment rights,” the senators explained. “At no time in the process does the VA determine a veteran to be a danger to themself or others, a key determinant for whether someone is a ‘mental defective,’ precluding the right to own firearms.”

According to The Hill, Senator Grassley has requested that lawmakers “block the VA from continuing this practice in the upcoming budget negotiations.” He also complained about the practice in another letter sent last year to the Justice Department.

If this song and dance sounds familiar, there’s a reason. The Obama administration was harshly criticized earlier this year for using the same tactic to revoke the Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries who need help with their finances. It is now clear that this administration has been using the fiduciary excuse to ban veterans from owning firearms for much longer.

In an article outlining the practice, the Los Angeles Times quoted Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with health problems manage their money: “Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” he said. “They are very different determinations.”

The article points to 30-year-old Marine veteran Steven Overman, who says his case demonstrates the flaws of judging gun safety through financial competence.

Overman’s Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007. The VA deemed Overman incompetent and made his wife his fiduciary after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury that weakened his memory and cognitive ability.

When he found out he was being reported to the background check system, “he gave his guns to his mother and began working with a lawyer to get them back.”

“[Target shooting is] relaxing to me,” Overman said. “It’s a break from day-to-day life. It calms me down.”

“Though his wife had managed their financial affairs since his deployment,” the LA Times reports, “Overman said he has never felt like he was a danger to himself or others.”

“I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” he said.

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  • Bill from Montana December 6, 2017, 9:14 am

    I was a case manager for my father, a WWII seaman on the USS Stanly. I drove him over to the VA rep so he could apply for benefits which he promptly received. Soon afterward I received a letter addressed to him from the VA stating he was no longer able to have any guns as per Brady 1992. There was no indication that they (VA) were coming to seize his guns. He was confined to the nursing home in Cut Bank while i took over his home and 40 acres it sits on. No agency of any kind came around here or the nursing home talking about his guns away.

  • Keith January 2, 2017, 5:12 pm

    The level of paranoid nutbaggery on this blog is simply astounding…

  • Tom Lawrence December 31, 2016, 6:57 pm

    If you take the King’s shilling, you must march to the King’s drum.

    Author unknow

  • Ed December 31, 2016, 1:37 am

    So now not only the un-elected VA and the un-elected SSA are being used to circumvent law abiding citizens’ second amendment rights. What’s next? The EPA–the BLM–the dogcatcher? OH NO–this guy needs help with his money–he’s a danger to himself and others—ban him from owning a firearm!! I wouldn’t be surprised if they put that guy on the no-fly list too. Obama and his band of liars and thieves are on their way out–making what I consider to be a childish and petulant spectacle of themselves as they do. Trump better start burning all the executive orders and firing those imbeciles who enforce this nonsense.

    • Dan July 21, 2017, 6:54 am

      Unfortunately, Trump will be even more dangerous because he is motivated by his own self interests, and will turn on us the next time there is a widely publicized incident involving firearms.

      • Larry jarrell July 21, 2017, 7:50 am

        What has Trum done since he has been sworn in to cause anybody to fear his presidency will throw us under the bus for his own gain. The answer, NOTHING.

      • Bill from Montana December 6, 2017, 9:22 am

        This must be an old thread. I see all these posts are undated but Vegas happened and the Texas church shootings happened recently and Mr. Trump has not spoken any gun control so far.

  • Henry Valdez June 25, 2016, 10:32 am

    Screw the V.A. They can’t take my 2nd amendment rights away

    • Mark Imm January 3, 2017, 3:00 pm

      We need to all get together and have a March and all go to a state with open carry and bring our unloaded rifles

      • Dan July 21, 2017, 6:59 am

        Which will scare the hell out of them, and illicit anti gun Tweets from Trump who will be calling for new legislation to prevent future protests of that type.

    • Mark Imm January 3, 2017, 3:00 pm

      We need to all get together and have a March and all go to a state with open carry and bring our unloaded rifles

  • Silas June 13, 2016, 6:26 pm

    That’s half the population of the us that can’t handle money probably. I know I can barely balance a checkbook! How does this make you dangerous??

  • Jim April 22, 2016, 9:42 am

    It’s all about CONTROL, ladies and gentlemen! dumBO’s quest for absolute power…he thinks he’s a dictator with absolute power and authority. NOT!
    Blame not the prince of fools, but the electorate who would elect him or HER prince or princess of fools. Think about it, get out the vote for your candidates whom you know will protect you, your its, and those of your family and friends. Remember…..the crazies that are dimocrats vote too! Let’s outvote them.

  • Steven April 9, 2016, 4:52 pm


  • smokemaster April 9, 2016, 12:15 pm

    The VA isn’t revoking anything and they are definitely NOT taking vets’ guns. If the vets are having judgemental difficulty they are being prevented from getting any MORE guns. This says nothing about guns they already have. I sure wish you guys would stop with the gratuitously inflammatory writing. You’re just attracting the nut bags with that stuff. Rules like this might have kept our favorite sniper alive longer if they had been in force.

    • RafDaddy April 9, 2016, 11:16 pm

      “they are being prevented from getting any MORE guns.” It means that they can not purchase a gun. PERIOD. There is no indication that a person that has problems handling his financial affairs would be violent. Their rights are violated by a back door attack by the Administration to reduce the number of Veterans purchasing guns and protecting their families. “Attracting nutbags”? Are you referring to other veterans that might still want to purchase a gun but the gun grabbers are dedicating to stopping? The Va has no business getting involved in this. Especially when the internal Doctors cannot say that a disability the vat has was, as likely as not, been caused by injuries and illness incurred in the line of duty. They loose their jobs. Do you work for the Administration?

    • Mongo April 10, 2016, 10:39 am

      Hey Smoke master, you name fits your mental capacity….you are either that stupid, a paid govt troll, a loser living in mommy’s basement believing “govt lying, no, it can’t be”, or….you are that stupid. Here son, is some education that either can’t find on your own, can’t think of….you are that stupid:

      Navy vet and retired policeman Donald Montgomery got his guns confiscated for seeking treatment for insomnia in where? New York. The hospital diagnosed him with depression and insomnia and an involuntarily admitted patient. The actual hospital notes said ” patient is not having thoughts of harming or doing harm to himself or others, experiencing insomnia since moving from another state. Voluntary admitted fro severe insomnia”. After leaving the hospital, he was contacted the next day from the Suffolk County PDmthat they would be coming to get his guns under the Safe Act provision”.

      Now I could go on, but, to you, it wouldn’t matter, would it? If they can confiscate this man’s guns, they have no limit for what the will do under this corrupted administration. Oh yes grasshopper, the VA and Vets are indeed under attack, you are next, in your cozy mamma’s basement, you and your little hot pockets too. WTFU. Damn you are stupid.

      But today, you can change. Have a nice day!!!

  • T, NEVEU April 9, 2016, 8:03 am

    You only have to remember one thing,if we didn’t have the Second Amendment we would certainly lose our First Amendment!!!!

    • T Minichiello May 6, 2016, 11:14 am

      Why is the VA concerned? The U.S. Postal Service should be concerned.

  • Jay April 8, 2016, 2:50 pm

    I am an 80% disabled Vet. I work at the VA and for the most part am very proud to take care of my Brothers and Sisters and unfortunately perception is king. Just like anything else there are good employees and bad employees like you will find anywhere else. Due to the fact that I have been seen and treated in the private sector and VA, I whole heartedly feel the VA is better, more caring and understanding of mine and other Vets situation. Also getting to see the discussions and happiness being around other Vets daily and seeing old timers interact and chat about the good old days and the young guys like me comparing battle scars and talks about kicking the same ass in the same dirt. It makes me feel good. I am afraid all of that would be lost, in the end if it was privatization would be horribly more expensive and you lose the commradery. Vets take care of Vets, mentally, emotionally and so on. That is why we socialize at the VA, that is why we have groups at the VA that is why there are so many Veteran organizations, most of which can be accessed in or through the VA. I do hear my Brothers and Sisters complain, I have worked in and around some that do but for the most part the complaints are minimal and those who are complaining do not know or understand that in the private sector what is happening with their situation is way worse in general terms. You are hardly ever hear anything bad about the private sector unless its gross misconduct or major issues, VA is in the news because of small stupid things that could be addressed at the hospital or counsel.

    I get really pissed off at the news, especially in recent months because they run a half story, a Vets side of the story and my own facility makes a blanket comment and do not explain anything or rebut anything. I have seen too many news stories on our local news about our facility in which the VA makes no rebuttal statement or explains the details of what happened. From first hand accounts an unhappy Vet who goes to the news don’t always tell the truth, the news is their outlet to be heard when they fall through the cracks but the same thing happens every day all over the country in private sector and it is not news worthy. For example, a Vet complains of an infection after a procedure. He goes to the news and the Vet says the VA did nothing. The news doesn’t ask anything like how long after the procedure did the infection occur. Did you follow doctors orders and so on. Seen it time and again people are weeks post OP get an infection, they could not have gotten while in the hospital that far out without major signs or symptoms. Then you find out the Vet was supposed to be on bed rest for this many days, what supposed to follow doctors order and so forth. That Vet was hauling hay 1 week post OP, why did you re-rupture your hernia, “I Don’t Know.” You had a lesion cut off your face and got infected 2 weeks later, what happened. “I Don’t Know” oh the next day I went fishing. The news doesn’t care and they don’t ask. A disgruntled Vet is sometimes validated but sometimes not, but we as the VA do not defend ourselves and it just makes us look bad in everyones eyes. You also don’t see the news looking or promoting looking at National Numbers statistically either. You know why, because VA has lower numbers in all critical catagories than the national average. They also don’t seem to understand that private facilities see huge numbers of patients in their 20s and 30s. The VA average patient in 50 plus, just about the time when everything in our bodies decides to take a dump and after major and minor injuries in the worlds most dangerous jobs we tend to have sicker patient further along the medical arch. So don’t be to hard on the VA, you all do your research when looking at guns and gun violence. Do your research on our numbers, the Vets and VA numbers. We are better than almost everyone except those places like Cedar Sanai and Johns Hopkins, you know the ones that cost you 3 times the standard rate for a vascectomy. Numbers don’t lie but the news does. Of course this is all based on hospital, not private physicians those are bonds hard to break.

    Aside for those things, the inclusion of Vets on the NICS is beyond the scope of the VA. The diynamics of the VA are one of knee jerk reactions and although my facility is non political the VA officials in Washington have to address issue brought to them. Most of the time these are knee jerk reactions without the full understanding of what is taking place. It is a long command chain and information is not always free flowing. We get stupid and idiotic commands all the time based on nonsensical knee jerk reactions all the time.

    What I foresee if Vet losing even more trust and faith with the VA. PTSD soldiers will stop getting seen or finding care which is a major issue already. Getting a soldier to share his feeling is probably one of the most difficult things a patient is seen for. Losing that faith and trust is going to hurt the VA in the long term. I already know Vets who need help but refuse to get it because of this very matter, to me the VA should be ashamed of these actions because Vets come first. Now if a Vet is shown to be a danger to themselves and others then address the gun issue but based on this non fact based unsustantited crap if beyond 2A rights. I bleed for this country, held friends as they died for this country and killed for this country. To take away my rights and my Brothers and Sisters rights is beyond a 2A thing, this has many many facets and downsides that will hurt the VA long term, hurt Vets long term as well. Truth is they have us over a barrel though, in a lot of cases 100% Vets rely solely on their disability coming from VA. It ends up being give up your guns or give up your VA pensions. What does one do in that situation? I protected and bleed for those rights like 2A, I would hate to have to protect and bleed for my 2A rights now as no one will ever take my weapons away from me. I have earned them and take them very seriously. Taking my 2A is just likely taking all my rights away and I will be damned if I let anyone no matter their station trample my rights to a free life in which I have the right to choose.

    • Galen A. Crandall Jr. April 25, 2016, 3:42 pm

      Jay, you make some good points but the VA is not the same as it was 35-40 years ago ( When I started going to the VA after retiring from the Navy). I’ve had open chest surgery for cancer and all went well.
      But. Two years ago I had a gall bladder removed, at a VA Medical Center, by a doctor hired from the outside. It was a botched operation and I’ve been in pain since. I complained to VA headquarters (answer in 5 business days), no response so 2 weeks letter tried again. One month later “Patient advocate” called me. I set up an appointment, he never showed or got back to me. I eventually went to VA Office of Inspector General. They took my case Dec. 2015. Since I had not heard from them concerning my case of “refusal of treatment” I asked the status giving my case number. I did this by email. The same day I received a response: a form letter stating they would take my complaint under study! Since I had quoted my case number I immediately wrote back stating the fact my case was supposedly already under investigation and since I had heard nothing for 4 months I wanted to know what, if anything, had been resolved. That was about 2 weeks ago and still no response. I repeat, the VA I used to brag about is no longer the same. While the Arizona VA may delay appointments the WRJ. VT, VA refuses treatment.
      I think a good start would be to cancel any and all bonuses through out the VA. Why should there even be bonuses for doing their job.

  • Larry April 8, 2016, 11:53 am

    Re-read this article & then realize that there are many out there who say they will sit out the November elections unless their first choice for President gets the nomination. We need to re-think that & support whomever is the alternative choice to Hillary, the Evil, the gun grabbing most vile person on the face of the earth & a direct descendent of Satan.

    • RALPH E. HUME April 8, 2016, 7:02 pm

      If you sit out the election, You will just be surrendering to the “bitch”.


  • Bobo April 8, 2016, 11:30 am

    This is just another ploy by the liberal urban politicians in their march to ban all guns. They have actually determined that many veterans are dangerous without due process on a case by case basis. These are the same politicians who send “other” people to fight their wars and then punish them.

  • retrocon April 8, 2016, 11:16 am

    Sounds like something that a NY liberal would thing is a good idea. And something a 5 panel liberal court would find acceptable.

    We had better seriously consider how hard we work this year, and for whom. And if you decide to sit this one out, you are the problem.

  • B_Cubed April 8, 2016, 11:12 am

    Issue a Medicare card to veterans that defines their benefits and allows them to go to where they want and its where it’s accepted. Then issue cards to all needing supplemental support under the Affordable Care Act to use the VA facilities.

  • Jack April 8, 2016, 10:59 am

    SNAFU: Doesn’t surprise me. The same ones that think it’s horrible will go to the polls and vote in another liberal supporter, that never served HONORABLY. Don’t worry about only your guns, worry about your children and your children’s children as they struggle to learn their new national language-ARABIC-. Worry about where they’re going to live, they’ll be no US, the liberal administration will give it away.

  • Rouge1 April 8, 2016, 10:52 am

    Your second amendment rights have been taken long ago. If your state or federal government infringes upon those rights there are no consequences to those individuals.

  • Gary Weeks April 8, 2016, 10:20 am

    the horror stories continue about the V.A. and this administration. The #1 people they want to keep guns out of their hands are those that know exactly how to use them and those are our military members, they’re not worried about the general population but, they are worried about those battle tested/hardened solders because they are the true defenders of our constitution and way of life and they are the force the Liberals would be facing when we stand up and say enough is enough. “One if by Land” Two if by Sea”. There are too many Americans asleep at the wheel, nothing is going to get done, the lever has been pulled and we are all in the throws of the downward spiral of the toilet. Wake up America before it’s to late decide which side you truly want to be on. “LIBERTY AND JUSTICE OF ALL”

  • WAke_Up_America April 8, 2016, 10:19 am

    Now this breaks my heart and disgusts me beyond words! That “NoBoma” is the biggest coon communist radical muslim that needs to pay the price. Wake up my fellow Americans before it is too late for all of us. That cock sucker sleeper terrorist is the ruination of the constitution and our everyday lives. . .Get your arms and ammo while you still can my friends.

    • Robin Miller April 8, 2016, 11:25 am

      I can understand somebody in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran or the ISIS territories being hateful toward America’s elected Commander in Chief. Americans, on the other hand, should respect the office even if they don’t like the person who occupies it. And lying about our President, i.e. saying things like “coon communist radical muslim” – and “cock sucker sleeper terrorist” is simply despicable. Worse, in a public forum like this it makes it look like gun owners are racist a-holes, which most of us are not.

      • Steven April 9, 2016, 4:50 pm

        But he is. That is the long and short of it
        Obuma is not a “Natural Born Citizen” and his actions show that his first consideration is not the U.S.A. He is a walking Constitutional Crisis!!! A Kenya in the WH.

  • McRuger April 8, 2016, 9:57 am

    Yeah and we just keep letting the left do whatever they want.

  • lilbear68 April 8, 2016, 9:04 am

    no right may be taken from any citizen without an adversarial court proceding

    • Jeff April 8, 2016, 9:56 am

      You keep telling yourself that… Maybe someone will listen when they come for your guns.

    • Bill April 9, 2016, 8:34 pm

      Obviously you are mistaken.

  • Ed Sunderland April 8, 2016, 8:26 am

    The only reason the Obama administration is going after vets is because they can and even the spineless republican congress and senate are slow to do a damned thing about it. That is reprehensible.

    The most deadly places in this country are Chicago, Detroit and other liberal train wrecks that no one wants to touch because they are black on black gun violence actions that taint the entire country about owning weapons.

    Going after veterans in this manor is wrong and should be challenged. The VA should be eliminated and rolled into private medical services after chucking Obamacare and allow veterans to use military base medical facilities.

    Think about this, the only presidential candidate that has been discussing openly about the disgusting treatment of our veterans is Donald Trump! And yes I voted for Trump in the primary.

    • Delta Whiskey April 8, 2016, 9:57 am

      The recommendation to let VA patients us military facility is reckless and not logistically
      supportable. Base medical facilities can barely support the active military much less those
      of us who get VA benefits.

  • Robert Pagan April 8, 2016, 7:38 am

    Privatize the VA and get rid of the politicians who have never served in the military but feel qualified to make decisions affecting those of us who have. They simply cannot relate.

  • Chimelak April 8, 2016, 7:23 am

    Today’s government, is likeba ship of fools and Obama is the Captain. I’ll surenbe glad when he’s out of office so we can return to being an American country..

  • Kenneth Crips April 8, 2016, 5:08 am

    Damn I am getting tired of this BS. The Veterans in these stories have been DX’ed and are 100 percent service connected for various mental health issues PTSD. Etc. Usually there is suicidal ideation. Then you have turd politicians who use this as a way to make political points. The results veterans not getting the help they need. I am a retired VA employee, and veteran I know what I am talking about.

  • Al Zermeno April 8, 2016, 3:55 am

    Has anyone sent this article to the VFW or American Legion?

    • BoBo April 8, 2016, 11:23 am

      They really don’t care.

  • Will Drider April 4, 2016, 9:20 pm

    By the V.A. and S.S.A. flawed reporting standard, the I.R.S. will probably report you as mentally deficient if you make a mistake on your taxes. Its the dems plan to make criminals out of law abiding citizens: less guns or more criminals!

    • Al April 8, 2016, 5:44 am

      I’ve been using a tax attorney for 25 years to file my taxes. Does that make me a danger owning a firearm?

      • Ken April 8, 2016, 7:47 am

        No that just makes you a slow reader …
        You can’t get through the 4 million pages of tax laws !

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