At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) opposed an amendment to her Assault Weapons Ban legislation that would allow military veterans to continue to buy the firearms that would be banned. Feinstein says a veteran may be mentally ill and should be prevented from purchasing firearms.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: If I understand this, this adds an exemption of retired military. As I understand our bill, no issue has arose in this regard during the 10 years the expired ban was in effect and what we did in the other bill was exempt possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States. So that included active military.
The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.
So, you know, I would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we could work something out but I think we have to-- if you’re going to do this, find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally don’t have access to this kind of weapon.