Nearly all of the individuals included on the Justice Department’s gun ban list in the “mental defective” category are referred by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This has Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley investigating a possible infringement on veterans’ Second Amendment rights.
Grassley, an Iowa Republican, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday seeking information on how the Justice Department manages its National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS).
Federal agencies are required to report individuals that fit into the “mental defective” category to NICS, which is managed by the FBI. Doing so blocks them from being able to purchase firearms.
According to data from Congressional Research, in 2012 the VA was responsible for 99.3 percent of all “mental defective” referrals to NICS. That’s ironic given that it is veterans who are charged with protecting Americans’ constitutional rights, according to Grassley.
“It’s disturbing to think that the men and women who dedicated themselves to defending our freedom and values face undue threats to their fundamental Second Amendment rights from the very agency established to serve them,” Grassley said in a statement. (Read more from “Senator Investigates Why So Many Veterans Are Being Placed On FBI ‘Mental Defective’ Gun Ban List” HERE)