Vet disarmament act ramifications

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Marlin T, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Marlin T

    Marlin T Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    New Mexico
    Q&A On The Veterans Disarmament Act
    -- How the new law will affect you and where we go from here

    Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
    8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
    Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

    Tuesday, January 8, 2008

    As most Americans were preparing for the Christmas holidays last
    month, the U.S. Congress pulled another fast one when only few people
    were watching.

    It was December 19. Most Congressmen had left town and were either
    at the airport or in the air returning home. They weren't in
    Washington, DC, because their party leadership had told them that all
    the major votes were over... that the only legislative business left
    related to non-controversial issues, such as when Congress would
    return from Christmas break, etc.

    But it was then, with most of the Congress gone, that the House and
    Senate passed the Veterans Disarmament Act without a recorded vote.
    It was a huge deja vu, as this was the method that a previous
    Democratic Congress used -- together with compliant Republicans -- to
    pass the original Brady Law in 1993.


    In the fury that resulted from this "fast one," many Americans have
    wanted to blame the entire lot of them... all 535 congressmen. And,
    to be sure, there is an extent to which they all share some blame.

    But to be fair, no one congressmen can camp out on the floor of the
    House or Senate chambers, every day, 24/7. It's a physical
    impossibility, which is why members of each party rely on their
    leadership to protect their interests and keep them informed. And
    that's where the betrayal occurred.

    No Unanimous Consent agreement can pass the House or Senate without
    the leaders of both parties signing off. And on December 19, the
    leaders of each party sent their members home for the Christmas
    holidays, while forging Unanimous Consent agreements in each chamber.

    As such, the immediate ire should be directed at the following
    legislators: Democrats such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
    (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Republicans such
    as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority
    Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

    Obviously, the backers of the Veterans Disarmament Act should be held
    to account, as well. Most of the lead sponsors were Democrats --
    such as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

    But there were a few key Republicans who helped cosponsor the
    legislation: Representatives Michael Castle (DE), Christopher Shays
    (CT) and Lamar Smith (TX). And dishonorable mention goes to Tom
    Price of Georgia who was physically present on the House floor on
    December 19. It was Rep. Price who asked for the Unanimous Consent
    agreement to pass the Veterans Disarmament Act without a vote.

    Finally, many of you know that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) held up the
    bill in the Senate for several months. His intentions were laudable
    as he desperately wanted to protect Second Amendment rights and cut
    unconstitutional spending.

    Unfortunately, not one pro-gun senator chose to stand with Coburn...
    not one. In fact, GOA felt just as alone as Coburn did. While two
    veterans groups (and several pro-gun state groups) sided with us, GOA
    was the only pro-gun group at the federal level that actively fought
    this legislation week after week, while another and bigger
    organization was working behind the scenes to help pass the Veterans
    Disarmament Act.

    Standing alone, Senator Coburn decided to negotiate for a better
    bill. GOA was asked for input and made a few contributions to the
    bill, but not enough to justify support for the Veterans Disarmament

    Add to this fact that GOA was prevented from seeing the final version
    of the bill before the brokered Schumer-Coburn compromise was taken
    to the floor under a Unanimous Consent agreement.

    As a result, Senator Coburn spoke in favor of the compromise bill on
    the floor of the Senate -- something that was a huge mistake, for
    many of the glaring problems with the bill still remained untouched.

    So chalk up a victory for Chuck Schumer... and for Carolyn McCarthy
    as well, as she told CBS News, "This is the best Christmas present I
    could ever receive."


    It would be a mistake to under-react -- or over-react -- to the
    passage of the Veterans Disarmament Act. On the bad side, this bill
    statutorily validates BATF regulations which could potentially disarm
    millions of Americans. This is a VERY DANGEROUS turn of events which
    will have huge ramifications over the next several decades.

    The extent to which its unconstitutional potential will be realized
    will be clear only over time -- and perhaps a long time -- and will
    depend on whether pro-gunners or anti-gunners are in power. For
    example, it took a full thirty years for language in the 1968 Gun
    Control Act to be used to disarm veterans.

    On the other hand, GOA was able to secure a few modest concessions
    which should provide some protection to gun owners -- though NOT

    So having said that, what are the implications of this legislation
    for Americans with psychiatric diagnoses?

    Although we succeeded in forcing the deletion of the ratification of
    the BATF regulations, per se, section 101 (c) (1) (C) contains new
    language which could make you a "prohibited person" (unable
    to own a
    gun) based solely on a medical finding (by a psychiatrist or
    psychologist), provided:

    * That you had "an opportunity for a hearing by a court, board,
    commission or other lawful authority"; and

    * In the future, that you had notice that you would be made a
    "prohibited person" as a result of the agency action (section
    101 (c)
    (3)). [NOTE: This was added pursuant to negotiations over GOA's
    objections to the bill.]

    However, even these modest gains have severe limitations. Up to
    140,000 veterans had their gun rights taken away as a result of a
    diagnosis of a mental disorder such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    (PTSD). But this new law does not require two important things for
    those 140,000 people:

    1. The new law does not require that a veteran needed to have any
    knowledge of the ramifications of the "diagnosis" in the past
    -- and
    the fact that this diagnosis could disarm him or her for life. How
    many veterans suffering from PTSD simply went to Veterans Affairs,
    hoping to get treatment, but now face a lifetime gun ban because of
    the new law?

    2. Also, the act does not require that the disarmed vets even knew
    they had a right to appeal their diagnosis. Many of the 140,000
    Americans who have now lost their Second Amendment rights first
    received a letter from Veterans Affairs telling them that, due to
    their diagnosis, a "guardian" was being appointed for them to
    their affairs. As stated above, how many vets realized that this
    action would deem them as "mental defective" under the 1968 Gun
    Control Act and strip them of their gun rights?

    Moreover, how many vets realized they could challenge this action by
    appealing the diagnosis? If they didn't realize the significance of
    this VA letter, most likely, the vets did nothing, as they were more
    concerned with getting the monetary benefits that such a diagnosis
    would bring. But, whether they knew these things or not, this new
    law would still validate the removal of their Second Amendment


    If you have been subject to a psychological or psychiatric diagnosis,
    the following may be helpful:

    * A diagnosis by your private doctor -- with no government
    involvement -- will probably cause you no problems.

    * The biggest danger remains the danger for veterans. Although the
    language of this bill could conceivably disarm adults who were
    diagnosed as kids with ADHD in connection with the IDEA program,
    seniors on Medicare with Alzheimers, etc., we know of no active
    efforts to disarm persons in these cases -- yet.

    * The likelihood that new classes of people will be disarmed will be
    directly related to the ease of accomplishing this though a computer
    keyboard. If your file exists only on microfiche in a dusty basement
    cabinet, you are relatively safe for now -- although, keep in mind,
    the new law calls for monies to be spent on collecting and updating
    records like this.

    * Obviously, the question of whether a gun hater or Second Amendment
    supporter is in the White House on January 20, 2009, will have a lot
    to do with how vigorously this new statute is enforced.


    In the unlikely event that you can get your diagnosis "set aside,"
    "expunged," or found to no longer exist, you can regain your
    [See section 101(c)(1)(A)&(B).]

    The McClure-Volkmer "relief from disabilities" provisions
    which have
    been blocked by sponsor Schumer for 15 years have been reinstated and
    expanded -- so that they will now exist in the broader range of state
    and federal agencies which this bill will allow to make you a
    prohibited person. Pursuant to negotiations over GOA's objections,
    we were able to secure very modest improvements which:

    * Would allow you to sue to get your rights restored if the agency
    sat on your appeal for 365 days;

    * Would allow you to get your legal fees if you prevail against the
    agency in court;

    * Would prevent Schumer from defunding these efforts in the same way
    he defunded McClure-Volkmer -- by requiring the 3% of state funds
    under this bill be used for these "relief from disabilities"

    But here's the major loophole in all of this. What minimal gains
    were granted by the "right hand" are taken away by the
    Section 105 provides a process for some Americans diagnosed with
    so-called mental disabilities to get their rights restored in the
    state where they live. But then, in subsection (a)(2), the bill
    stipulates that such relief may occur only if "the person will not be
    likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the
    (Emphasis added.)

    This language sounds similar to those state codes (like California's)
    that have "may issue" concealed carry laws -- where citizens
    "technically" have the right to carry, but state law only says that
    sheriffs MAY ISSUE them a permit to carry. When given such leeway,
    those sheriffs usually don't grant the permits!

    As we have predicted before: liberal states -- the same states that
    took these people's rights away -- will treat almost every person who
    has been illegitimately denied as a danger to society and claim that
    granting relief would be "contrary to the public interest."


    GOA is devising strategies with House and Senate members to restore
    veterans' rights. Please stay tuned.


    Defend The 2nd Amendment Through Creative Giving...

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    generosity of those who assist us will make all the difference in our
    success. That's why GOA seeks your long-term support.

    Please call 703-321-8585 during regular business hours or e-mail to request information on how to keep control
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  2. MOS0311

    MOS0311 New Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    I wanna see you take away a Marine's rifle. Apparently those idiots never heard of the Rifle Creed.

    I havent heard of any case of veterans going on killing sprees. Its always the damn troubled kids. If you take from veterans you're as anti American as you can be.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008

  3. Tom Militano

    Tom Militano New Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Jacksonville, AL
    Well said. I was in the Corps from 1959 to 1963, so I'm just a little older than you.
  4. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Dec 14, 2003
    Its seems like the government never misses an opportunity to create more Carl Dregas.....

  5. MOS0311

    MOS0311 New Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    OOORAH Sir! :):D
  6. islenos

    islenos Active Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    West Texas
    I am amazed at how many Marines are not only able to type but have a fair understanding of computers.:D

  7. Jay

    Jay Active Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Some of us ........ nope, changed my mind.
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Seems to me, out of the percentage of the population most qualified to carry a weapon, a very big portion must include combat vets of every branch.
  9. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Peoples Republic of the Pacific Northwest
    But don't you understand, Delta? You military types are nothing but indiscriminate killers and rapists with bad table manners!

    Oh, wait...
  10. I would trust any currently serving or honorable discharged veteran--even Delta :D--with a firearm long, long, long before I would trust any liberal politician! Of course, if I had a girlfriend, and Delta were around, I would be inclined to keep a close eye on him. :D;):p
  11. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Well taking my guns wouldn't keep me from killing. In the military, especially this last several years, we get exposed to all kinds of improvised methods of making people dead. Things like the airbag in your steering wheel; door remote in your pocket; your gas grill; even your cell phone...are potentially components to far better mass casualty producing weapons than a gun.

    Ya know? Let 'em think about that next time we're raping the horses and riding off on the women without excusing ourselves from the table.

    But Pistol...I'm a gynochologist:D:D:D I understand your concern though...caution comes with age, they say. Ya been around so long your social security number only has 7 numbers:p
  12. You know, Delta, I hear they are looking for a few good men to disarm IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Have you considered volunteering? :D;):p
  13. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    We may be seeing just the tip of the iceberg in the new wave of gun control... It seems that blatant attempts to ban guns don't sit well with most common-sense Americans. The politicians have gone after the gun makers and ammunition suppliers... And in this case, they've gone after the gun makers by limiting their buyers...

    Think about it, ex-military has to be a large portion of gun buyers...

    California has made it cost-prohibitive for gun makers to supply their goods, and have even gone after the ammunition manufacturers with this anti-lead BS...

    This is just another wave... Maybe I'm just theorizing, but it's scary to think that it may be true, and probably will have a major effect unless we stand up to them by voting them out of office.

    Back door gun control through the application of economic principles... It stinks! :mad:
  14. AL MOUNT

    AL MOUNT Active Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Cleaning my Thompson in The Foothills of the Ozark
    Oh now know you'd give anybody yer M-14......:rolleyes:

    Bayonet first.......that is.....:D

  15. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Was is "volunteering"?
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