General Petraeus Opposes GOP Efforts to Repeal Gun Ban for Military Veterans

Petraeus and Kelly

On March 13 Breitbart News reported that House Republicans were eyeing a repeal of the gun ban for military veterans. On March 14 retired Army General David Petraeus and his gun control group blasted the proposed repeal as “irresponsible and dangerous.”

The gun ban for military veterans works similarly to the recently repealed Social Security gun ban, in that it allows investigations to be opened on military disability recipients who require help managing their finances. Recipients who are declared mentally “incompetent” then face a prohibition on purchasing or possessing guns.

The NRA-ILA reports that a military veteran labeled with a mental health moniker would actually face “a lifetime ban on the acquisition and possession of firearms, unless he or she successfully petitions for ‘relief from disabilities.’”

House Committee on Veteran Affairs chairman Phil Roe (R-TN-1) put forward the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act to repeal this ban, but Petraeus opposes the repeal.

According to USA Today, Petraeus and the gun control group he formed with Mark Kelly–Veterans Coalition for Common Sense–sent a letter to House Republican leaders, saying, “When vulnerable veterans have access to firearms, they can do harm not only to themselves but also to family members and loved ones. The impact of these tragedies is felt in communities across our nation.”

But the NRA supports repealing the ban, viewing the ban itself as bureaucratic overreach which targets those who can quietly be stripped of their Second Amendment rights even as their Due Process rights are ignored. The NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox said, “Receiving assistance to handle personal finances does not mean an individual is unable to safely own a firearm. Our brave men and women in the military should not be stripped of their constitutional rights without due process of law.”

Roe’s Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act is expected to be taken up by the full House as early as this week.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.