Boozman Amendment Protects Veterans' Second Amendment Rights
An amendment offered by U.S. Representative John Boozman to prevent veterans from being unjustly denied their right to possess and purchase firearms, was adopted during a House Veterans Affairs Committee markup today.
Boozman, Ranking Member of the Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, offered the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act as an amendment to reform a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) process that strips 2nd Amendment Rights of veterans and their families who receive assistance managing their financial affairs.
"Our veterans and their families sacrifice to protect the rights we are guaranteed under the Constitution. To take away their 2nd Amendment Rights because they cannot manage their finances is unjust. Our veterans deserve due process, something that is not achieved by current VA policy," Boozman said.
Currently, the VA deems veterans and other VA beneficiaries "mentally defective" if they are appointed a fiduciary to act on their behalf and are then reported to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which prevents individuals from purchasing firearms in the United States.
Boozman's amendment would require a judicial authority to determine that a veteran poses a danger to themselves or their community before VA may forward their names to NICS. More than 116,000 people who receive VA benefits have been reported to NICS since 1999.
Boozman, a member of the Second Amendment Task Force, is a cosponsor of H.R. 2547, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, introduced by Representative Jerry Moran (R-KS) on May 21, 2009.
Boozman is also the author of several other provisions approved during the full VA Committee markup; H.R. 5630, which improves our veterans' vocational rehabilitation program, a reauthorization of the VA Advisory Committee on Education, an authorization of grants for the improvement of assisted living technologies for disabled veterans, an increase in grant amounts for specially adaptive housing for disabled veterans, and a modernization of the VA's energy efficient home mortgage program. All of these initiatives sponsored by Boozman passed the full House Veterans Committee during today's markup.