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Majority of House Democrats voted to take guns away from certain veterans

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A majority of U.S. House Democrats voted to take guns away from certain veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Services.

This did so by voting against a bill to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, – the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2025 – on Wednesday, and an amendment it included specifically address firearms. The bill narrowly passed, largely along party lines, by a vote of 209-197.

Only four Democrats voted for the funding bill: U.S. Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Vincente Gonzalez of Texas, Mary Peltola of Alaska and Kristina Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington.

Two Republicans also voted against it: U.S. Reps. Tom McClintock of California and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

The White House said the president would veto the bill for several reasons, including because of section 261 added by House Republicans. It prohibits “the VA from reporting a person determined to be mentally incompetent during the VA benefits evaluation process without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority.”

“The proposed revision would effectively prohibit the VA from reporting mentally incompetent beneficiaries who need a fiduciary to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), thus creating a dangerous loophole that would allow these individuals to obtain firearms and endanger their safety and the safety of their communities,” the White House said.

The bill, filed by U.S. Rep John Carter, R-Texas, also included the Crane Amendment – named after U.S. Rep. Eli Crane, R-Arizona, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, to protect veterans. It clarifies that any veteran who the VA reported to the NICS “was done so incorrectly in violation of their constitutional rights.”

Democrats overwhelmingly voted against the Crane Amendment, with 192 voting against it and seven for it. Thirty-two members didn’t vote on the amendment. The amendment passed by a vote of 211-193, preventing the VA from disarming an estimated 20,000 veterans during the next fiscal year.

Crane has voiced concerns that VA bureaucrats and Democrats wanted to “create an unauthorized process for dragging veterans before judges for ‘red flag’ disarmament proceedings.”

His provision wasn’t included in the fiscal 2024 VA spending bill last year. Currently, the VA submits veterans’ names to the NICS if a judge appointed them with a financial manager.

The House provision and Crane’s amendment was backed by Gun Owners of America “to protect tens of thousands of veterans from being unconstitutionally disarmed by President Joe Biden’s bureaucrats,” it said.

“Because of a horrendous policy initiated by President Clinton, more than 250,000 veterans have had their Second Amendment rights revoked. This has been done without any Due Process – no judge or jury – just a mere determination by bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration that veterans must forfeit their guns when a fiduciary is appointed to handle their finances and complex VA benefits,” Erich Pratt, SVP of Gun Owners of America, told The Center Square.

“Thankfully, GOA-backed legislation that passed this week in the House will continue to prevent the VA from submitting names of veterans to the NICS system,” Pratt said. “GOA urges the Senate to maintain this rider in their version of the legislation. Despite the temper tantrum from the White House, common sense says no veteran should be disarmed over such ridiculous reasons.”

Twenty-five members of Congress didn’t vote on the bill, including 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

In April of this year, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs urged states to use federal funding that remains largely unused to implement state crisis intervention programs, including red flag programs. Existing red flag laws “allow family members or law enforcement to seek a court order to temporarily take away access to guns if there is evidence a person may harm themselves or others,” the White House says.

So far, 21 states have passed red flag laws; six are using federal funding to implement them. The states of the bill author and the Crane Amendment, Texas and Arizona, do not have red flag laws.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions to create the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center, which includes resources to facilitate court orders “to temporarily or permanently have the lawfully owned firearms of another person seized by police.”

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