On July 30, U.S. Navy veteran John Arnold received a letter stating that Veterans Affairs representatives were planning to come to his home to seize his guns.
According to KREM, this letter caused a firestorm. A group of 100 people joined Arnold at his home on Thursday in Priest River, Idaho to support him and his right to possess his guns. An inspector was scheduled to come to his home to inspect and seize his guns.
“A couple days ago, it was going to be me sitting here with John and today it’s quite a few folks so it’s veterans taking care of veterans,” said Arnold’s friend, Ranger Rick.
Arnold filed paperwork with the VA and he mistakenly checked the box that indicated that he couldn’t handle his own affairs and was financially incompetent.
He had a stroke a year ago and said that the box was checked in error. The VA, however, said that because of his filing, he couldn’t buy, sell or possess firearms.
“If somebody else makes an error and they cause you grief they should fix it,” said Arnold. “That’s all I want is that stuff to get fixed.”
Among Arnold’s supporters were two state representatives, State Representative Heather Scott of Idaho and Washington State Representative Matt Shea of Spokane Valley.
According to spokesperson, Representative Shea described the protest against the VA’s threat to seize Arnold’s guns as a “defiance against tyranny.”
“It’s absolutely amazing and it gives you a new found hope that there are still people out there,” said supporter Maria Bosworth.
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler was in attendance to stand guard against any attempts to seize Arnold’s guns.
The crowd sang “God Bless America” and prayed while waving the American and “Don’t thread on me” flags. Priest River is a small city with a population of 1,700. Though small, this area is known for their proud Tea Party gatherings and gun rights demonstrations.
Though a field officer with Bonner County Veteran Services did show up to Arnold’s home Thursday, he said he was not going to inspect that day. He also informed Arnold that he could appeal the paperwork.
Spokesman for the Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, Washington said that the agency only has the authority to provide health care and not to seize guns.
Arnold plans to work with VA and the officer to fix paperwork.
“I just hope everything calms down and I can live in ease in my life instead of worrying about everything and the worry shouldn’t be there,” said Arnold.