U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, and U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), today introduced legislation to allow military spouses to purchase handguns in the state where their husband or wife is permanently stationed for duty, or in a neighboring state if the military spouse commutes across state borders to their duty installation. The Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA-02).
“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,” said Rounds. “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.”
“When our men and women in uniform answer the call of duty, sometimes at a moment’s notice, it is not just the servicemember who is impacted,” said Thune. “For many military families whose parent or spouse changes duty stations, the move could result in a new home, job, or school. We should be doing all we can to make life safer and easier for these military families who sacrifice a great deal for America. Our servicemembers and their families should not have to forfeit any of their rights in order to protect ours.”
Current law restricts citizens from legally purchasing a handgun in any state other than the one in which they reside. An exception to this law was made for active duty service members who are on permanent duty station orders, so that they can be considered a resident of the state in which they are assigned. Our legislation extends that exemption to their spouses as well. Other cosponsors include Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).