Senators Want To Make It Easier For Military Spouses To Possess Firearms

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Spouses of military servicemembers cannot legally purchase handguns in states where they don’t permanently reside, a scenario which often occurs when they accompany thieir active-duty significant others to bases in different states.

This handgun prohibition applies to civilians in general, but active-duty servicemembers are excepted from the rule. They’re permitted to purchase handguns if they present military identification and official orders signifying that they’ve been assigned to a base in another state. Several GOP senators are banding together to allow military spouses to slide in under this exception, as well, granting them access to firearms for protection.

Sens. Mike Rounds, Steve Daines, James Inhofe, Mike Enzi and Mike Crapo recently introduced the legislation.

Gun rights have received renewed attention over the last month following the Chattanooga shooting in Tennessee at two separate military facilities.

“At a time of increased threats on military bases and to members of our Armed Forces, it is as important as ever to give military families the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Sen. Mike Rounds said in a statement. “Our men and women in uniform – and their families – make incredible sacrifices to keep our country safe; allowing them to keep their families safe is the least we can do.”

Republican Rep. Scott Rigell forwarded similar legislation earlier this year on the House side called The Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act.

Other members of Congress have proposed bills to allow servicemembers to carry firearms while at certain military locations. Many troops already violate the policy. Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White became the subject of a Navy investigation after it was revealed that he used a personal firearm to shoot back when Mohammad Abdulazeez opened fire on servicemembers.

An official with knowledge of the investigation recently told Stars and Stripes that the Navy will not charge White for discharging a firearm on federal property. (RELATED: Official: Navy Won’t Charge Officer Who Used Personal Firearm To Take Down Chattanooga Shooter)

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