A new Senate bill would address the gun-free zones that many critics blame for worsening a string of shootings against domestic military targets, most recently the Chattanooga shooting which cost the lives of four Marines and one Navy sailor.
The bill — which Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, plans to introduce this week — would allow active-duty military members to carry their private weapons at American military installations, lifting the previous gun ban.
Current Department of Defense policy prohibits carrying weapons on military installations unless specifically given permission as law enforcement or security. Activists say the shootings at the Navy Yard, Fort Hood, and Chattanooga would have been prevented if the military members were allowed to carry their personal weapons to work.
“What happened in Chattanooga can never happen again,” Moran said in a statement. “The U.S. Constitution guarantees the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,’ yet our men and women in uniform are being prevented from exercising this constitutional right when fulfilling their duties on American soil.”
California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation that they plan to introduce a bill tomorrow that would allow military recruitment offices two options: either allow military recruiters to carry weapons or provide security at recruitment facilities.
“Until we get our hands wrapped around this, we have to allow the people who represent the United States military to defend themselves, at the least,” Hunter said in a statement to TheDCNF.
But Moran’s Senate bill is more broad, allowing guns for active military at all military installations.
“Just because a member of our Armed Forces is not deployed to an active war zone does not mean they are safe from those who wish to do harm,” Moran said in a statement. “Members of our military are targets for those who do not share our values – both at home and abroad. If the members of our Armed Forces at the Chattanooga military recruitment centers had been allowed to exercise their Second Amendment Rights, the outcome of the attacks could have been very different. These brave individuals must be empowered to defend themselves and others from violence and acts of domestic terrorism.”