Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican, sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday, requesting statistics to guarantee that troops are not being denied their Second Amendment rights unfairly. Grassley sent the letter in order to get more information and data on veterans who have been reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
“I take the basic character of the Second Amendment very seriously,” Grassley said in his statement. “When our veterans’ ability to own and use weapons is at stake, the government must guarantee that constitutional due process is followed.”
“According to the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) submitted 97.9% of all names reported to the NICS lists mental defective’ category by federal agencies as of December 31, 2020, despite the fact that reporting obligations apply to all federal entities,” Grassley noted.
Being listed on the NICS almost assures that the person will not be able to purchase a firearm. Many of the veterans on the list, according to Grassley, are not a danger to themselves or others. “As you are aware, when veterans are designated a fiduciary to receive VA benefits, they are judged unable to obtain or carry weapons or ammunition,” the senator said.
In his letter, Grassley wanted a slew of statistics, including VA referrals to the NICS and the rate of requests to be removed from the list.
Since 2015, Grassley has made the Second Amendment rights of veterans in the VA treatment system a priority.