Sen. Chuck Grassley to President Trump: Repeal the Gun Ban for Military Veterans

World War II veteran Stanley Byars, 92, of Atlanta, center, holds his hat during the singing of the National Anthem at a ceremony awarding the French Legion of Honor medal to Byars and fellow veterans by the Consul General of France at the Capitol Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Atlanta. …
AP Photo/David Goldman

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent President Donald Trump a letter Tuesday to urge the repeal of the gun ban for military veterans.

On March 16, 2017, Breitbart News reported that the House passed a repeal of the ban, so veterans have been waiting nearly a year for the Senate to follow suit.

The gun ban for military veterans is almost identical to former President Barack Obama’s gun ban for Social Security recipients, as it focuses on disability recipients who need help managing their finances. Beneficiaries who require help are flagged and reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and are, thereby, prohibited from purchasing firearms for self-defense.

The House and Senate voted to repeal Obama’s Social Security gun ban early in 2017, and Trump signed the repeal on February 28, 2017. Sen. Grassley believes it is now time to repeal the gun ban for military veterans.

Grassley used his letter to explain that the gun ban for military veterans relies on archaic “regulations” that are being misapplied to separate military veterans from their God-given, Second Amendment rights. The regulations, written in the 1970s, were focused on financial incompetence, not natural rights:

Grassley described the slippery slope:

[The regulations have] nothing to do with regulating who can purchase firearms. But that is exactly what is happening. Veterans are losing their Second Amendment rights because they have someone managing their checkbook.

How is this happening? Federal law requires that before a person is reported to the gun ban list, they be determined a “mental defective.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms created a regulation to define what “mental defective” means. It includes, among other requirements, that a person is a danger to self or others.

The VA has taken the position that this ATF regulation can be made to fit within its own preexisting regulatory structure for assigning a fiduciary, thus requiring reporting to the gun ban list.

As the gun ban for military veterans and Obama’s Social Security gun ban are almost identical, if the Social Security ban needed to be rescinded–and it did–then it is a given that the gun ban for military veterans needs to be rescinded as well, for it targets our bravest and best.

Grassley’s push for repeal is cosponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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