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Proposal to allow ‘mentally defective’ veterans buy guns triggers debate

November 29, 2009
Kansas City Star

Legislation allowing veterans classified as “mentally defective” to buy firearms is drawing sharp criticism from gun-control advocates, but proponents argue that it is not as risky as it may sound.

Eighteen senators — including Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback of Kansas — have endorsed the measure. It would require a legal authority to find a veteran is a danger to himself or others before his name is put in the national criminal background check system and he is prohibited from purchasing a gun.

“Our veterans took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and they deserve to enjoy the rights they fought so hard to protect,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.

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