(TargetLiberty.org) – In a significant vote that took place on Wednesday, a number of senators who are widely considered to be at risk in the upcoming elections gave their support to a contentious amendment concerning veterans and their right to bear arms. The amendment in question was aimed at safeguarding the gun ownership rights of veterans enlisted in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs fiduciary program.
The senators who supported the change include Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Jon Tester from Montana, Jacky Rosen from Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona. All of these senators are gearing up for what promises to be competitive re-election campaigns next year.
Originally proposed by Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, the amendment was successfully added to a broader funding bill that allocates resources for military construction and several key government departments. The vote count was 53 in favor and 45 against. The amendment essentially seeks to ensure that veterans who have a fiduciary assigned to them for the administration of their VA benefits will not automatically lose their ability to purchase or possess firearms.
Currently, the standard practice requires the VA to report the names of such beneficiaries to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System when they are assigned a fiduciary. Senator Kennedy argued that this practice unfairly robs veterans of their constitutional rights, based on bureaucratic decisions.
However, Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut, a prominent advocate for measures against gun violence, sharply criticized the amendment. He pointed out that the issue at hand wasn’t merely financial mismanagement; rather, it concerns the mental competence of the veterans. Murphy specifically noted that a significant portion of the veterans impacted by this change could be diagnosed schizophrenics, thereby posing potential risks.
While every Republican senator who participated in the vote approved the amendment, the Democratic response was more mixed. Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, both of whom are bracing for difficult elections, opted to vote against the amendment.
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