This bill would prohibit the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) from considering a veteran or beneficiary as “mentally defective” and banning them from purchasing a gun without a magistrate or judicial authority ruling that they are a danger to themselves or others. Veterans and beneficiaries are added to the “mentally defective” list if they become mentally incapacitated, are deemed mentally incompetent, or experienced an extended loss of consciousness.
Under current law, if a veteran or beneficiary is labelled as mentally incompetent in the VA’s system and has been appointed a fiduciary to look after their legal affairs, the VA automatically sends the veteran’s name to the National Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Being included in the NICS bars a person from buying or owning a firearm. While they can appeal the firearms prohibition, the VA handles the appeal rather than a judicial authority.