A bill proposed this month by a congressman from Virginia would make it significantly easier for military spouses to purchase guns, regardless of where they live or where they claim residency.
Right now active duty service members can purchase a gun in any state without first being a resident. That's because a federal law specifically exempts them from any residency requirements. Spouses, however, aren't included in that. Instead they must show proof of state residency before purchasing a fire arm there. The proposed law would simply add the spouses of active duty service members to that exemption.
You can read more about it in my Military.com story over here.
We told you about a similar proposal in Nebraska a few months ago. That idea got thrown-out, however, when one state lawmaker suggested that the exemption be given to all military spouses, not just those married under the state definition's of marriage (one man and one woman).
If passed into law, the federal proposal would apply to all military spouses since the federal definition of marriage does not specify gender.
The congressman who proposed the new federal legislation, Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), said he did so to help military spouses more easily be able to protect themselves against threats like those issued recently by groups claiming affiliation with ISIS. About 20 of the 100 service members whose names, addresses and photos were included on a "wanted" list were located in Rigell's distract, he said in a statement.
There are a variety of pros and cons to the idea of downsizing the number gun ownership barriers for military spouses. On the one hand, we do move a lot. Having quicker access to gun ownership regardless of when you last relocated seems like it would make life easier for spouses who want to take advantage of that right.
On the other hand, spouses don't go through any of the background checks to which military members are subject. Giving service members slightly easier access to firearms doesn't seem like a bad call. But since spouses aren't subject to the same kind of vetting, I could see lawmakers being unwilling to extend any kind of extra access to them.
What do you think? Let us know in our poll and then check out the results.