By Ramsey Cox
Burr complained that when the Veterans’ Affairs Department determines that a veteran is no longer able to make financial decisions, the veterans’ name is sent to the FBI and added to the federal gun purchase ban list. His amendment would require a judicial ruling to determine if the veteran is dangerous before they are banned from buying guns.
Sens. Joe Donnelley (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) were the Democrats and independents who supported the amendment.
Burr said the amendment from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) — which failed on a 54-46 vote — didn’t go far enough since it only allowed veterans to appeal the VA decision, rather than stopping the decision from being made in the first place.
Burr said the ban also affects family members who share a residence with the veterans because guns are banned from the home.
The Senate is considering S.649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. Some GOP senators have said the bill goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.
The Senate was scheduled to vote on nine amendments Wednesday, all of which were subject to a 60-vote threshold. More amendment agreements are possible later this week.