Murphy Misleads on VA Gun Ban for Veterans With Fiduciaries

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

Despite a handful of protest votes, the House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the six-bill budget package that includes a rider protecting the Second Amendment rights of veterans who've had a fiduciary appointed to help them manage their finances. The package is expected to win approval in the Senate before Friday's funding deadline, but Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy says he'll be voting "no" on the bill because of the the rider. 


This is a highly misleading take on both the rider and the process that the VA uses to strip some veterans of their right to keep and bear arms. 

The VA doesn't "judge" veterans to determine their mental competence. Instead, the VA determines whether or not an individual is unable to manage his or her financial affairs, and only "after receipt of medical documentation or if a court of competent jurisdiction has already made the determination." In other words, vets can be prohibited from keeping or bearing arms without a judicial finding of mental defectiveness. That's the problem that the rider addresses. 

I can't sugarcoat this either: Chris Murphy is a lying hack who relies on freaking out John and Jane Public in order to advance his anti-gun agenda, and he doesn't mind smearing veterans in the process. 


As I just mentioned, the rider that's included in the spending package doesn't automatically guarantee that every veteran with a fiduciary will keep their Second Amendment rights intact. It just means that the VA can't take away their Second Amendment rights based solely on medical documentation that someone is unable to manage their financial affairs. Instead, the agency will have to follow the letter of federal law, which requires an actual adjudication by a court if they want to prohibit them from hanging on to their firearms or to stop them from legally purchasing one in the future. 

While Murphy claims that the rider is going to lead to an increase in veteran suicides, I'd argue that the status quo prevents many veterans from seeking help in the first place. After all, if you know that your medical records could be used to block you from lawfully owning a firearm, you might very well decide to stay away from a mental health provider. We should be doing everything we can to help our veterans seek treatment without stigma or fear. Instead, Murphy's painting every veteran with a fiduciary as "seriously mentally ill" and a danger to themselves and others. 


Or maybe Murphy's just a pathetic putz who refuses to shoot straight with the American people. No one but Democrats and the gun control lobby actually believes that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was responsible for the significant decline in homicides seen in many U.S. cities, and no one should listen to a word he says about the VA rider that is set to become law once the Senate signs off on the spending bill sans the approval of Connecticut's junior senator. 

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