The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun sending letters to certain veterans of the U.S. military informing them that they are being stripped of their right to own firearms without due process, said Constitutional attorney and executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, Michael Connelly, J.D. on Wednesday.
The letter partially reads:
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 pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).
While specific reasons are not given in the letter, it is mentioned that the veteran receiving it has been determined to be “incompetent,” either mentally or physically.
Connelly, though, writes that the reason for stripping veterans of their rights “seems to be…simply because they are veterans.”
“In every state in the United States,” continues Connelly, “no one can be declared incompetent to administer their own affairs without due process of law and that usually requires a judicial hearing with evidence being offered to prove to a judge that the person is indeed incompetent. This is a requirement of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states that no person shall ‘… be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…’.
“Obviously, the Department of Veterans Affairs can’t be bothered by such impediments as the Constitution…”
This incident suggests that the Obama administration is enforcing recent executive orders.
In August, President Obama signed an executive order titled Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families. This order gives the Obama administration sole authority in determining mental illness in veterans.
Additionally, Obama issued three “presidential memoranda” in January that required military records to be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is the system used for background checks of people purchasing firearms.
Further, under the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, veterans labeled with post-traumatic stress disorder are forbidden from appealing the designation in a federal court.
Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, have expressed fears of military veterans in the recent past, labeling them as threats to the country and potential “right wing extremists.”