April 12, 2013

FACT SHEET: Manchin-Toomey Amendment Protects Second Amendment Rights of Those Who Have Served Our Country

This bipartisan bill, the “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act” does NOT take guns away from Veterans 

Expands gun ownership rights for active duty service members; and helps reduce the stigma of seeking help for PTSD, and impact on 2nd Amendment rights, by fixing an unfair VA system

FACT – This amendment fixes an outdated law and allows active duty service members and their spouses to purchase guns in their home state, as well as their duty station.  Current law unfairly restricts them to only buying guns in the state where they are stationed.  

FACT – This amendment requires notification of veterans who have already been placed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by the Department of Veterans Affairs; some veterans may not even know they are in NICS. Once they are notified, the amendment allows every veteran in NICS to appeal for removal. There are currently over 150,000 veterans in NICS because they have had a fiduciary – someone to manage their finances – designated for them.

FACT – This amendment helps reduce the stigma surrounding PTSD by creating a fair appeals process for veterans who may have been wrongly or automatically categorized as unfit to own or purchase firearms.

FACT – This amendment establishes an appeals process for veterans by allowing them to appeal to an independent board or a court before being placed in the NICS system.

FACT – This amendment protects a veteran’s right to bear arms until he or she has exhausted the appeals process, which is different from the current system in which veterans are “guilty until proven innocent.” 

Additional bill facts: 

  • This amendment will not ban any kind of weapon, magazine, or ammunition.
  • This amendment will not create a national registry (in fact, it explicitly prohibits it).  Those who attempt to create a registry face up to 15 years in prison.