After the Sandy Hook mass shooting, gun rights advocates blamed numerous factors, except guns. One of those factors was mentally ill people getting access to guns.
Now, gun advocates are furious that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wants to take guns out of the hands of vets who are mentally ill.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reportedly sent out a letter to some veterans that read in part:
A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition,” the VA letter states. “If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).
This attempt to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill veterans has caused outrage and conspiracy theories among gun advocates and conservative websites.
Right wing website DrudgeReport.com wrote this misleading headline: "REPORT: Feds send letters to vets prohibiting ownership..." which left out the "mentally ill" part.
Attorney Michael Connelly wrote on RedFlagNews.com: "That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me."
TheGatewayPundit.com blared the alarmist and misleading headline: "SHOCK REPORT — Veterans Receive Letters From VA Prohibiting Ownership or Purchase of Firearms."
“This must be Barack Obama’s way of thanking our veterans for serving,” complained TheGatewayPundit.com. “U.S. veterans are receiving letters from the government informing them that they are disabled and not allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm. If the veteran does decide to purchase a firearm he will by fined, imprisoned or both… This comes on page 2 of the VA letter.”
InfoWars.com quickly threw its conspiracy hat in the ring as well: "The federal government is targeting veterans because it realizes that when martial law is declared and people are rounded up for political reasons – REX 84 and other military contingency plans demonstrate that the government has long planned for such an inevitability – the military experience of veterans will be crucial to any effective resistance."