Dear Editor:
 
In his March 17 statement, “LaMalfa votes to protect 2nd Amendment Rights for Veterans” Rep. Doug LaMalfa vocalizes his support for H.R. 1181, a bill that could automatically restore firearms to tens of thousands of veterans who may pose a danger to themselves.
 
In its present form, HR 1181 could retroactively remove individuals from the National Instant Background Checks System (NICS). Given the high rate of suicide among veterans, retroactively removing individuals from NICS could put these heroes in danger. Additionally, in its present form, HR 1181 does not outline a process to determine whether the removed individuals are, in fact, at risk of harming themselves or others.  
 
Predictably, Congressman LaMalfa and his colleagues are doing the gun lobby’s bidding and ramming this bill through without doing their due diligence.  The bill was passed by committee without a proper hearing, and it’s language is so broad that even the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), could not adequately explain its mechanisms.
 
Members on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged past flaws in the process the Department of Veterans Affairs used to enter veterans into NICS.  But the blanket restoration of guns to our veterans at risk of suicide is not the solution. Rep. LaMalfa should know better. 
 
Andrew Patrick
Media Director at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence