Veterans Betrayed: House Dems Reject Amendment for Gun Protection

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    S_Photo / shutterstock.com
    S_Photo / shutterstock.com

    House Democrats made a decisive move by voting against safeguarding the Second Amendment rights of certain veterans who’ve already served their time in the U.S. Armed Services. This marked a significant development during the proceedings concerning a U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs funding bill, commonly referred to as the Crane Amendment.

    On Wednesday, most House Democrats opposed funding the Department of Veterans Affairs by voting against the H.R. 8580, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2025. The bill managed to pass by a slim margin with a vote of 209-197, underscoring the deep split along party lines.

    The Administration released a letter stating it strongly opposes the passage of H.R. 8580. The bill is supposed to cough up funds for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and a few other odds and ends for the fiscal year wrapping up on September 30, 2025. The White House cited various reasons for a potential veto of the bill, including objections to Republican alterations regarding LGBTQ policies.

    However, a pivotal issue that garnered significant Democratic resistance was the Crane Amendment’s Section 261 revision. Named after its sponsor, U.S. Representative Eli Crane, a former U.S. Navy SEAL from Arizona, the Crane Amendment aimed to uphold veterans’ Second Amendment rights. It sought to rectify instances where veterans were erroneously reported by the VA to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), thus infringing upon their constitutional rights.

    Crane expressed concerns over a perceived agenda within the VA and Democratic circles to establish an unauthorized mechanism for subjecting veterans to ‘red flag’ disarmament procedures without due process. The Crane Amendment was not incorporated into the previous year’s fiscal VA spending bill. The VA submits veterans’ names to the NICS if a judge appoints them a financial manager.

    Endorsed by the Gun Owners of America, the Crane’s amendment aimed to shield tens of thousands of veterans from what was deemed as unconstitutional disarmament by administrative decisions rather than through a judicial process.

    The Gun Owners of America emphasized the plight of veterans whose Second Amendment rights were revoked based on VA determinations without recourse to due process.  The Vice President of Gun Owners of America expressed the importance of protecting veterans’ rights from what he sees as arbitrary measures.

    Despite the contentious nature of the issue, the Crane Amendment faced staunch opposition from House Democrats. One hundred ninety-two members voted against it, while only seven supported it. Thirty-two members abstained from voting on the amendment.

    Nevertheless, the amendment secured passage by a vote of 211-193, thereby preventing an estimated 20,000 veterans from potential disarmament during the upcoming fiscal year.

    Crane’s amendment also prohibits American troops from being sent to fight on the ground in Ukraine. Congressman Eli Crane believes that sending American tax dollars to Ukraine is concerning enough, but sending American men and women to die over the conflict is unthinkable.

    Matt Gaetz also publicly supported Congressman Eli Crane’s amendment in this DOD appropriations bill to prohibit American troops from being sent to fight on the ground in Ukraine. “We do not want American service members dying in Ukraine. ”

    In a noteworthy departure from party lines, seven Democrats lent their support to the amendment, including Representatives Henry Cuellar, Jared Golden, Vicente Gonzalez, Mary Peltola, Marie Perez, Gabe Vasquez, and Marc Veasey.

    The White House expressed apprehensions regarding the bill, particularly concerning the amendment’s impact on reporting mentally incompetent beneficiaries to the NICS. This concern centered on the potential risk posed by individuals gaining access to firearms without proper evaluation by judicial authorities.

    Overall, only four Democrats supported the entire bill, all of whom also endorsed the Crane Amendment. Conversely, two Republicans voted against the bill. Additionally, twenty-five members of Congress, comprising fourteen Democrats and eleven Republicans, refrained from voting on the bill.