Sen. Rand Paul Targets Background Check System With Gun Bill

THE HILL — Sen. Rand Paul is hitting back at an Obama administration policy on gun ownership that he says is negatively impacting veterans and seniors.

The Kentucky Republican, who is running for reelection, has introduced legislation that would require a court to declare someone “mentally incompetent” before an agency can report him or her to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

“The Obama administration is at it again, and this time they are unilaterally stripping gun rights from our nation’s veterans and seniors,” Paul said in a statement. “The Protecting Gun Rights and Due Process Act will provide necessary protection for gun-owning Americans, and ultimately ensure that the Second Amendment is not infringed upon.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been reporting veterans to the NICS as “mentally defective” since at least 2012 if they use a fiduciary to manage their VA benefits, according to a fact sheet from Paul’s office.

Paul’s legislation would require the VA to review and remove any veterans from the FBI’s list within 90 days if they have not been declared “mentally incompetent” by a court or judicial officer.

Paul isn’t the first lawmaker to voice concern over the practice.

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