2nd Amendment, affairs, America, Americans, ammo, ammunition, attorney, Attorneys, ban, both, Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, conditions, Constitution, constitutional, Department of Veterans Affairs, executive, financial, fines, firearms, Freedom of Information Act, Gun, guns, head, Health, imprisonment, Issues, justice department, Lawyers, mental, Michael Connelly, non-specific, notices, physical, prohibit, Prohibition, Rights, U.S., United States, United States Justice Foundation, USJF, VA, veterans, violation, weapons ban, written
According to a respected constitutional lawyer and executive head of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), veterans have begun receiving written notices from the VA that they are not competent enough to handle their personal firearms — or even their own financial affairs.
Letters reportedly obtained by attorney Michael Connelly, J.D. state that veterans determined to be ‘incompetent’ by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will face fines, imprisonment, or even both if they continue to hold onto their firearms or ammunition after the reception of the letter. The first page even boldly states that the VA agency has determined certain veterans are no longer able to ‘handle’ their VA benefits due to ‘physical or mental’ conditions.
Threatening legal action against veterans who fail to comply or ‘prove’ they are capable of keeping their firearms within 60 days of receiving the letter, the second page reads:
“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 letters, which do not contain any specifics behind the issuance or reasoning behind branding many veterans as incompetent, can be read online as provided by Connelly (page one, page two, page three). In the report, Connelly reveals that the letters have been issued to hundreds if not thousands of veterans across the United States. If they do not respond within 60 days, as the second page states, the VA will determine for themselves a course of action regarding the VA benefits and firearm collection of the individual.
Meanwhile, it’s not even clean what they’re verifying or denying when it comes to physical or mental health. It’s a blatant disregard for not only the Second Amendment and the legal processes that have been established to protect citizens, but for the affected veterans who have laid their lives on the line for the very same Constitution that is supposed to protect them. With no clear criteria to designate whether or not a veteran is ‘incompetent’ by the VA, these letters could be issued for everything from something overheard at the VA to a bodily injury. Some could be due to serious health issues that are debilitating, but no specifics are given.
Instead, it is now up to all the veterans who receive these letters to defend themselves against their rights being stripped away — along with their financial benefits. Connelly says that he will be filing a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Veterans Affairs through the United States Justice Foundation.
by Anthony Gucciardi
February 22nd, 2013
Updated 02/22/2013 at 1:31 am