The Veterans Administration seeks personal information from veterans in exchange for free gun locks in new program.
The Veterans Administration (VA) is currently offering free gun locks to veterans if they provide certain pieces of personal information.
According to the Washington Times, veterans have received forms from the VA offering them up to four gun locks if they complete a form listing their name, address, and number of guns they own.
A letter from the VA’s Philadelphia office reads:
Dear Veteran, as your partner in health care, we are committed to keeping you and your family safe…If you own a gun, we hope you will request and use a gun lock. As a Veteran, you already know about the importance of firearm safety.
One veteran who received the letter spoke out against the program, telling reporters it’s, “a gun registry in disguise.” He added, “Young soldiers are already notoriously reluctant to admit any problems with post-traumatic stress disorder. Imagine the effect if the average 23-year-old private, back from Iraq, already reluctant to ask for help is now hearing rumors that if he seeks help from the VA for sleeplessness, PTSD, nightmares, etc., Big Brother is going take his guns away? Now young veterans will really avoid asking for help.”
According to reports, the VA hospital officials in Philadelphia have been instructed to not keep information on file about veterans who own guns.
“They have been instructed to offer these gun locks to veterans and family members and to keep no gun registries or other information related to the gun lock distribution,” a spokesman said
“The NRA is opposed to any and all forms of a gun registry,” said National Rifle Association spokesman Jennifer Baker. “The VA initiative raises concerns because veterans are not offered any written assurances that the information they provide the government regarding their firearms will not be kept on file and used for other purposes.”
Gun locks are distributed under a program started in 2008 by the Bush Administration, similar to the Project ChildSafe program. The VA has been distributing gun locks for the past seven years with the help of local police and a firearms trade group.