Skip to comments.VA Unconstitutionally Tries To Disarm Veterans
Posted on 02/25/2013 6:07:03 PM PST by raptor22
Guns: Veterans who bore arms to defend their country are receiving letters that they may be declared mentally incompetent and have their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms stripped from them. Welcome home.
The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary.
On Thursday, Michael Connelly, executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, said veterans have begun getting warning letters from the Veterans Administration (VA). The letters inform the recipients that he or she must provide evidence to the contrary within 60 days. If the veteran desires a hearing, they must inform the VA within 30 days.
"A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2)," the letter reads.
The VA states on its Fiduciary Program website that, according to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law in 1993, being determined as unable to manage your benefits prevents you from owning and possessing a firearm or ammunition.
While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
IBD EDITORIAL PING
About 4 or 5 years ago, the VA started doing intake “wellness” type questions on patients seeking care at VA facilities. Things like “do you smoke, how muchj” do you drink, how much” “ do you feel depressed” “ what meds are you taking” etc. It seems harmless but I was told by one of the nurses there are actually correct answers to some of the questions. What they weren’t telling people was that the responses were scored with certain levels (if I said I drink two drinks three times a week, for example) it’s considered abuse bordering on alcoholism. Totaled together these scores allow them to slot you into different categories...one of which is the Brady provisions for firearms. This seems to be accelerated since the Newton shooting and the executive orders. I haven’t been back to VA since those, but the Executive order saying that doctors should ask about gun possession may be in effect at the VA (as they’re subject to Executive order). I wonder if you can plead the fifth. Good question for an attorney.
Personally, I’d rather trust in my ability to deal with the crazy people than the benevolence of the government.
A procedure that has been in effect for at least 50 years and which was designed to protect the financial interest of severely impaired veterans is being mischaracterized. Someone is attempting to mislead very vulnerable and ill informed veterans and their families. This has been debunked numerous times but continues to resurface. For those who are interested in facts, I have copied the controlling regulation below.
38 CFR 3.353 - Determinations of incompetency and competency.
Determinations of incompetency and competency.
(a) Definition of mental incompetency. A mentally incompetent person is one who because of injury or disease lacks the mental capacity to contract or to manage his or her own affairs, including disbursement of funds without limitation.
(b) Authority. (1) Rating agencies have sole authority to make official determinations of competency and incompetency for purposes of: insurance (38 U.S.C. 1922 ), and, subject to § 13.56 of this chapter, disbursement of benefits. Such determinations are final and binding on field stations for these purposes.
(2) Where the beneficiary is rated incompetent, the Veterans Service Center Manager will develop information as to the beneficiary's social, economic and industrial adjustment; appoint (or recommend appointment of) a fiduciary as provided in § 13.55 of this chapter; select a method of disbursing payment as provided in § 13.56 of this chapter, or in the case of a married beneficiary, appoint the beneficiary's spouse to receive payments as provided in § 13.57 of this chapter; and authorize disbursement of the benefit.
(3) If in the course of fulfilling the responsibilities assigned in paragraph (b)(2) the Veterans Service Center Manager develops evidence indicating that the beneficiary may be capable of administering the funds payable without limitation, he or she will refer that evidence to the rating agency with a statement as to his or her findings. The rating agency will consider this evidence, together with all other evidence of record, to determine whether its prior determination of incompetency should remain in effect. Reexamination may be requested as provided in § 3.327(a) if necessary to properly evaluate the beneficiary's mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs.
(c) Medical opinion. Unless the medical evidence is clear, convincing and leaves no doubt as to the person's incompetency, the rating agency will make no determination of incompetency without a definite expression regarding the question by the responsible medical authorities. Considerations of medical opinions will be in accordance with the principles in paragraph (a) of this section. Determinations relative to incompetency should be based upon all evidence of record and there should be a consistent relationship between the percentage of disability, facts relating to commitment or hospitalization and the holding of incompetency.
(d) Presumption in favor of competency. Where reasonable doubt arises regarding a beneficiary's mental capacity to contract or to manage his or her own affairs, including the disbursement of funds without limitation, such doubt will be resolved in favor of competency (see § 3.102 on reasonable doubt).
(e) Due process. Whenever it is proposed to make an incompetency determination, the beneficiary will be notified of the proposed action and of the right to a hearing as provided in § 3.103. Such notice is not necessary if the beneficiary has been declared incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction or if a guardian has been appointed for the beneficiary based upon a court finding of incompetency. If a hearing is requested it must be held prior to a rating decision of incompetency. Failure or refusal of the beneficiary after proper notice to request or cooperate in such a hearing will not preclude a rating decision based on the evidence of record.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a) )
Here is more on the story and there is a link to “the letter” that Vets have been receiving.
We have surely seen this before...
Friends of ours in the military now say they go through questioning like you described when they return from deployment. They are encouraged to get help if they have problems sleeping or trouble in their marriage- things of that nature; it may be a good thing for those that do need help, but many feel like it is a trap and not good for their career. Sort of fits with what you posted that the VA is doing.
Every veteran with mental problems will not go for treatment thanks to this new “rule”. And the way it’s worded they’re in trouble if they own a gun period.
I wonder what all the veterans who voted for obama think of this. Take one anti-depresant to quit smoking and they’re screwed.
I have already read several posts of Vets who say they won’t go to the VA now-for anything.
I have to go to the VA. I take a lot of daily meds that I can’t afford otherwise. And when they’re no longer available, I’m dead.
Lots of us veterans were told when we signed up that if we got an honorable discharge we’d get free medical care for life. The government broke that contract when they began means testing. And believe me, you don’t have to make much to fall into the co-pay category. I wish some enterprising attorney would file a class action suit against the VA.
The 2nd Amendment reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” I don’t see any qualifiers attached such as, “unless mentally chalenged.” I’m sure they had nut jobs back in the 1700’s. This crap has got to stop.
Thanks for your service!
You should email Michael Connely and propose the class action suit that you mention. It couldn’t hurt and it might be something he would be interested in taking on.
There is a link to contact him here.