Every day, 22 U.S. veterans die from suicide — this rate is double that of the U.S. civilian population. And the majority of those suicides are completed with firearms. In an effort to keep our veterans safe, for almost twenty years, the VA has submitted records of those vets it deems mentally incompetent to the National Background Check System (NICS). The practice includes due process and also provides opportunities for the veteran to challenge the ruling before and after the determination and record submission is made.
Now, corporate gun lobby allies in Congress are trying to reverse this system. HR 1181 would undo the VA process that leads to some veterans being put on the prohibited purchaser list. There would be no replacement system or process. And, it would also remove more than 170,000 records from the background check system.
Our veterans deserve good medical care for physical, mental and emotional trauma suffered as a result of their service. We must protect them as they have protected us. Undoing a system that recognizes veterans’ rights while also working to ensure they stay safe just doesn’t make sense! Tell your Representative to vote No on HR 1181.
Jennifer Thorne, Executive Director
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence