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When Idaho State Representative Heather Scott learned that the Veterans Administration (VA) was about to descend on a veteran living in her district and confiscate his firearms, she enlisted the power of the Internet. Writing on her Facebook page last Thursday, she announced,
Time to Stand against Gun Confiscation in North Idaho!
Based on an assessment of a letter I received, I believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs is coming to a veteran’s home in Priest River today to check for and confiscate his guns based on nothing more than a stroke which has left him with some mild physical impairment.
If you feel, as I do, that our veterans should not be treated like 3rd class citizens or common criminals, please join me between 9am and noon at the Congregational Church parking lot on HWY 2 to stand with this Veteran and show that the citizens of Bonner & Boundary County will stand firm on this issue.
By noon more than a dozen of Priest Lake, Idaho’s 1,700 residents walked over to veteran John Arnold’s home and waited for the officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs to show up. Those in the crowd besides Representative Scott included Representative Matt Shea from just over the border in Washington State and Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler.
When the VA official arrived, Sheriff Wheeler confronted him, telling him that he would stop any inspection or attempt to confiscate Arnold’s firearms. He told the press:
I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and uphold the laws of Idaho. This seemed appropriate to show my support. I was going to make sure Mr. Arnold’s rights weren’t going to be breached.
In fact, the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action has stated,
The Department of Veterans Affais overreaching policies have resulted in the names of well over 100,000 veterans and dependents on the FBI's National Instance Criminal Backgound Check System as prohibited from possessing firearms.
The NRA and its allies have attempted to push through the “Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act,” which would require the VA to follow the Fourth Amendment's due process.