VA labels veterans ‘incompetent’ to handle finances, stripping them of the right to purchase and own guns
Tens of millions of Americans were outraged earlier this year when news broke that Veterans Administration hospitals were deleting veterans’ records and failing to schedule them for needed medical appointments in order to appear as though they were fixing a horrible backlog of patients who had yet to be seen.
Then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a retired U.S. Army four-star general, was sacked over the scandal, and President Obama pledged to fix the system – one he knew back in 2008, during his first presidential campaign, was badly broken [http://www.washingtontimes.com].
VA has arbitrarily deprived many Veterans of their Second Amendment rights
But that is far from the only outrage committed against veterans. As reported by WorldNetDaily in 2013, many have been deprived of their Second Amendment rights simply because of an arbitrary decision made by VA bureaucrats:
The Obama administration insists it’s routine for officials to send out letters informing veterans that an unidentified “report” indicates they may be declared incompetent and consequently stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
Of course, this is the same administration that warned in a 2009 report that vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan “possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists.”
So much for the Fifth Amendment
The letters were being sent, ironically, during one of the administration’s pushes for more gun control; the regime utilized the regulatory apparatus of the VA to deny veterans their right to keep and bear arms – a constitutional right they served and fought to protect.
The letters informed vets that they could be determined to be “incompetent” to handle their own financial affairs and thus would be assigned a financial adviser from the VA.
But the incompetence ruling was then forwarded to the FBI’s national NICS background check system – and that automatically prevented them from being able to either purchase, own or possess firearms.
What’s more, these determinations were done arbitrarily and devoid of a clear and open set of guidelines, rules or other criteria. In fact, such determinations avoided Fifth Amendment “due process” guarantees, as well as any determination and adjudication by a court of law, as required by statute.
Within weeks of WND’s initial reports, veterans filed suit against the government to stop the process. The suits were filed by the United States Justice Foundation, a legal group dedicated to the protection of constitutional rights.
“The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,'” said Michael Connelly, executive director of the group, in explaining that the initial suit was to request information via the Freedom of Information Act.
Copies of the rules, regulations and criteria “used by the VBA to determine that a veteran found incompetent for any reason can be ‘prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm,'” he said.
Determination prohibits you from owning guns
According to WND, one of the VA’s letters – received by a veteran in Oregon informing him of a 2012 determination from the Portland VA Medical Center – said that “evidence indicates that you are not able to handle your VA benefit payments because of a physical or mental condition.”
“We propose to rate you incompetent for VA purposes. This means we must decide if you are able to handle your VA benefit payments. We will base our decision on all the evidence we already have including any other evidence you sent to us,” the letter continued.
The determination meant that the VA would provide a “fiduciary” to manage the vet’s payments.
Then the letter warned: “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.”