VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

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VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by doitnstyle1 » Sat May 02, 2015 8:56 pm

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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by duodecima » Sat May 02, 2015 10:27 pm

The very few folks I've personally run across who had a VA fiduciary were in pretty rough mental shape - one didn't know when or where he was, permanently, the other had serious mental health issues made worse by the seriously heavy chronic drinking. I'd say they met the legal test AND the common-sense test for not being allowed to own firearms. Both were clearly much better candidates for that list than, say, the guy who put a knife to his own throat in front of his family and the police - he had a much better chance of recovering with treatment to a mental state where gun ownership would have been reasonable again.

This is not that different from the fact, under the same law, that if you are involuntarily commited for mental health reasons, this is considered to meet the "mentally defective" criteria (I hate the language, btw, but that's legalese for you.) The fact that it's an "administrative procedure" rather than a court one seems like it could be abused but in practice I have seen it used more rarely than the emergency commitment orders, in severe cases only. I suspect (IANAL!) it could be appealed to a court if the VA denied the request for relief.

From the VA's own website on fiduciaries :
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act prohibits you from purchasing, possessing, receiving or transporting a firearm or ammunition if you have “been adjudicated as a mental defective or been committed to a mental institution.” In compliance with this act, VA reports the names of incompetent beneficiaries to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which then adds the names to a database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Gun dealers must check NICS for the name of a potential buyer before selling him/her a firearm. You may be fined and/or imprisoned if you knowingly violate this law. You may apply to VA for relief of firearms prohibitions imposed by the law by submitting your request to the VA. The VA will determine whether such relief is warranted.
more info about fiduciaries (tho it's mixed in with info about legal guardianship, because both situations may apply.) ... pyedit.pdf

Not to say that every VA fiduciary fits this description, some do really well once they're back in a stable situation and getting appropriate treatment.

tl;dr nothing new, it must have been a slow blog news day.
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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by Stercutus » Mon May 04, 2015 5:41 am


Whenever the military says something like:

We won't send your DNA to a federal criminal data base, we won't give your mental health information to anyone, we will never share your personal information with anyone, we won't remove this benefit....

They are lying. Anyone who has done a tour in the military should know that leaders lie all the time in order to make things more palatable for people to swallow. Now that you know that the next move is up to you.
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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by emclean » Mon May 04, 2015 8:23 am

I don't have an issue with the VA following federal law. if your mental health fits the criteria, the healthcare provider is required by law to send your information to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS.

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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by Mikeyboy » Mon May 04, 2015 8:41 am

I know some folks in the ATF and without giving too much away the illegal gun trade have been recently recruiting Vets at VA hospitals in rural gun "friendly" states to be straw purchasers for urban gang bangers in states with tough gun laws.

Its kind of sad. They are taking advantage of Vets in dire situation, offering them some fast money, but they don't realize that these gun runners usually don't get caught and the purchasers usually gets left holding the bag.

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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by Boondock » Mon May 04, 2015 9:51 am

I went down this road with the VA a few years ago. Here's the short version:

The VA deems most severe PTSD cases mentally incompetent for financial reasons, which carries an automatic entry into the restricted firearms database in accordance with the Brady Act.

This was a rider slipped into the VA spending bill passed a couple months after the Sandy Hook massacre.

In my case (I'm rated 100% for PTSD and 140% for combat wounds), I was told point blank by my case manager that the VA doesn't want vets with PTSD spending their pension checks on guns.

The fiduciary that's appointed to handle your money usually is a family member, but this lets the VA inspect how your compensation checks are being spent.

Mainly, this is to ensure that folks with TBI aren't being ripped off.

I had to fill out lots of paperwork, request hearings, get statements from other mental health professionals, vouching that I have an adequate support system in place for my money and home life.

And that I had no interest in firearms and was not considered a threat to public safety.

I empathize with anyone going through this with the VA. It's a giant pain in the ass to try to fix. You might not win. But there's no need to panic. The VA is not sending EVERYONE'S mental health records to the ATF/FBI.

I hope that helps. Let me know if there's any other questions I can try to answer.

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Re: VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to FBI

Post by Hollis » Mon May 04, 2015 2:32 pm

Several Points. President Clinton Via executive order had vets who where Under the VA ruling of mentally incompetent names to NCIS (?)

The VA standards of incompetent is not the same as the law of a mentally incompetent person who can not own a fire arm. It was a lessor standards.

President Bush signed into law reversing that order by President Clinton............ But... IIRC it did not pull those names.

The VA standard is much lower then then one for Legal incompetency. It does not apply or should not have applied to the 2nd Amendment rights.

It was dishonest and done for political reasons.

The one that suppose to terminate a person's 2nd Amendment right is done Via the courts, Judge and Lawyer and all of that right to due process stuff. IIRC, The VA does not do that and even the VA states for VA purpose only. With out a court hearing it is illegal abridging of the rights of the veteran.
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