Veterans Losing Gun Rights

Friday, 10 Sep 2010 08:54 AM

By John Lott

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If this story about the VA and Homeland Security denying veterans concealed handgun permits is true, it is very disturbing.


From a veteran:

"Last month, at my VA med visit ,they asked me exactly the same questions [posed to a friend] and I asked them why they never asked them before and their answer was that it is a new policy that they must ask all vets!"

From a Vietnam vet and retired police officer:
 
"I had a Doctor’s appointment at the local VA clinic yesterday and found out something very interesting that I would like to pass along. While going through triage before seeing the doctor, I was asked at the end of the exam, three questions:

1. Did I feel stressed?
2. Did I feel threatened?
3. Did I feel like doing harm to someone?

"The nurse then informed me, that if I had answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions, I would have lost my concealed carry permit as it would have gone into my medical records and the VA would have reported it to Homeland Security."


The first two questions seem like absurd reasons for losing a permit. Even the third seems problematic. There is a big difference between feeling like harming someone and actually thinking about doing it.

Now it appears as if local media around the country are reporting on examples of other reasons that veterans are having their guns taken away.


Sgt. Wayne Irelan re-enlisted in the Army National Guard after Sept. 11.

He was severely injured in Iraq and awarded the Purple Heart. But now his second amendment rights have been taken away.

"I really feel betrayed," Irelan told 5NEWS.

A year ago the Irelans began receiving a small stipend from Veterans Affairs because wife Lana had to take over the family's finances.

"How many husbands do you know in America that pay the bills? There's not very many," Lana Irelan told 5NEWS.

The VA declared Wayne Irelan incompetent and now his right to own a gun is gone.

"It's wrong. Laws need to be changed. They need to look at individuals and not stereotype them as some sort of mad man," Sgt. Irelan said.

Irelan has post traumatic stress disorder from the Iraq war, but his wife says he has never been violent. Lana Irelan told 5NEWS his diagnosis is not a legitimate reason for his gun rights to be taken away.

"I was there when they gave him his purple heart for fighting for that right to bear arms, and they are stripping it away," Lana said, her eyes tearing up.

The couple didn't know Wayne's gun rights had been terminated until they went to get a gun out of pawn. Days later Wayne got a letter from the Arkansas State Police saying his concealed carry permit had been revoked. The ATF has told the Irelans that they could go to jail if a firearm is found in their home.

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