Millions never convicted of a crime or medically diagnosed as mentally ill are on the federal government’s list of prohibited gun owners

Steve Overman is a decorated Marine and Iraq War veteran.  He has never been convicted of a crime.

He’s also on the federal government’s list of people banned from buying guns.

In fact, his guns were confiscated by order of the Veterans Administration.

I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” he tells The Los Angeles Times.

And you could be next.

Millions of Americans never convicted of a crime or medically diagnosed as mentally ill are being quietly added to the federal government’s list of prohibited gun owners.

Under rules issued by the VA and the Social Security Administration, any beneficiary who has named someone else to handle his or her finances is declared “mentally ill” and entered into the National Instant Check System as a person prohibited from owning a gun.

4.2 million Social Security beneficiaries alone have named a fiduciary to handle their benefits.

With the gun-ban scheme in place at SSA and VA, other federal agencies may adopt the rule, expanding into the millions the number of law-abiding Americans ordered to hand over their guns.

Congress is considering legislation to repeal those rules, but with Democrats holding enough seats in the U.S. Senate to filibuster pro-gun bills, Overman and other law-abiding Americans may never get back their guns.

Overman is just one of the tens of thousands already violated by the ban.

His only crime was earning a Purple Heart.

Overman was wounded in Iraq when his Humvee struck a roadside bomb.

He suffered a brain injury that affects his memory and cognitive ability.

Since he would forget when bills were due, the VA listed his wife as the person responsible for his finances.

That landed him in the NICS database.

Not only was he robbed of his gun rights, he was forced to give up target shooting, in which he found solace and happiness.

Even The Times, one of America’s most liberal newspapers, notes the ban is a blanket violation of constitutional rights.

In reporting on the new rules, The Times noted:

“…critics — including gun rights activists, mental health experts, and advocates for the disabled — say that expanding the list of prohibited gun owners based on financial competence is wrongheaded.

“Though such a ban would keep at least some people who pose a danger to themselves or others from owning guns, the strategy undoubtedly would also include numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook, the critics argue.

“Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with mental health problems manage their money, tells The Times.

Rosen fears the rules will discourage Americans from seeking help with mental health issues.

Congress is considering repealing the rules under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn federal regulations under limited conditions.

Pro-gun lawmakers have also introduced legislation repealing the rules by law.

Rep. Ralph Abraham’s H.R. 3126, introduced in the last session of Congress, will likely be brought back should the Congressional Review Act attempts fail.

But in either case, efforts to restore gun rights could run into a roadblock in the Senate.  There, Democrats hold 48 seats.

Only 40 votes are needed to prevent legislation from coming to the Senate floor.

Overturning the gun ban rules would require the support of at least eight Democrats, setting up a fractious fight coming into a 2018 election in which Democrats must defend 24 seats, many of them in “red”, pro-gun states.