More Guns for Military Spouses? Hill Proposal Says 'Yes'


It's not the first time we've seen something like this proposed. Lawmakers want to make it guns for military spouses more accessible wherever they are stationed by removing residency requirements. But this time officials believe the measure has a shot at actually passing.

That's because the House, Senate and White House will soon all be controlled by Republicans, who traditionally favor less stringent gun laws than their Democrat counterparts. 

Right now, federal law allows service members to purchase a gun in any state without meeting residency requirements. But that law does not extend to their spouses. Instead, military spouses must meet state residency requirements before they can purchase a gun.

A measure was proposed in May, 2015 to change that rule, but died without making much progress on the Hill. Now, another lawmaker, Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican has introduced similar legislation. 

The new legislation, called the "Protect Our Military Families' 2nd Amendment Rights Act" would allow troops and their spouses to purchase weapons as if they had established residency in potentially three different states at the same time. According to the bill's summary, they would be considered a resident of the state in which "(1) the member or spouse maintains legal residence, (2) the permanent duty station of the member is located, or (3) the member maintains a place of abode from which the member commutes each day to the member's permanent duty station."

In areas where members often are stationed in one state but live in another -- the Washington, D.C. region, Fort Benning, Georgia (on the border of Alabama) and Fort Campbell, Kentucky (on the border of Tennessee) all leap to mind -- that would mean residency in three places at once. For example, for a soldier stationed at Fort Benning who lives in Alabama, he and his spouse could purchase a weapon as if residents in Alabama, Georgia and wherever their home of record is. 

The legislation also does something relatively unrelated. It gives licensed gun dealers, manufactures and importers the OK to ship guns "particularly suitable for sporting purposes" OCONUS to both individual spouses and spouse clubs.  

When the legislation was proposed in 2015 we ran a poll asking what you thought about this -- and over 60 percent of you said a law like this makes sense. I'm wondering if that's still the feeling -- so here's that still ongoing poll again.

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