The Trace spins so fast you could enrich uranium over the Cornyn bill, because supposedly it pushes the debate onto friendlier ground for them. They aren’t happy, however, about all the veterans that will get yanked out of NICS under the bill because there was insufficient due process given to them. I have a very small violin to play for them.
We’ve seen this before, because history has repeated itself. We trade more incentives for the states to report records to the federal system, and get something in return: this time gutting the Administration’s program to strip veterans of Second Amendment rights, and a halt to any plan to do the same for some Social Security recipients. This has been done several times now. The first time Congress did this, if you recall, the Brady Campaign declared outright victory over the NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA), even though the bill created a relief from disability program for the first time since the Gun Control Act passed. Prior to 2008, mental health disabilities were irrevocable lifetime prohibitions. You might recall that back in 2007, VPC were the only anti-gun group willing to call bullshit on the deal, but VPC has always had the luxury of being able to rely on a few big foundations for its existence.
That bill had weaknesses, however, as the Administration is currently exploiting, because it only provided for relief after the fact, and did not do enough to define criteria for placement in the system in the first place. This latest improvement should remove those veterans that have been screwed out of their rights, and put the onus on the VA to show they’ve been legally adjudicated, meaning that they were judged to be a danger to themselves or others by “court, board, commission or other lawful authority,” which presumably will not be some bureaucrat at the VA making a determination based solely on financial considerations. We still need to see language to know exactly what the bill does and how it does it, but I’m pleased to see the long tradition of spinning this by the control movement continuing.
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