Legion to White House: ‘Gun Order Must Protect Vets Seeking Treatment’

Concerned that the White House’s executive action on gun sales would discourage veterans from seeking treatment for mental illnesses or conditions, the head of The American Legion urged President Obama to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding veterans be protected.

“Nobody wants violent criminals or those with extreme mental disorders to have firearms,” American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett said. “ But The American Legion strongly believes that treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder or depression by itself, which a number of wartime veterans experience, should not be the sole factor in denying a veteran the right to purchase a firearm.

“Barring some additional circumstances that would indicate that a veteran represents a dangerous threat, veterans should not have to forfeit their Second Amendment rights. We fear an ‘over fix,’ which would bar any veteran from owning a weapon. That’s what we’re apprehensive about. Veterans have fought to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans. The American Legion believes that the rights of these heroes deserve protection.”