Sen. John McCain's office has released a statement addressing the reports on Sen. Dean Heller's claims about his amendment on arming service members:
"Senators McCain and Heller spoke today and agreed that there was a misunderstanding about an amendment submitted to the NDAA to give military base commanders the authority to allow service members to carry personal firearms on military installations. These are the facts: Senator McCain supported the amendment that Senator Heller submitted to the NDAA, in keeping with his longstanding commitment to the protection of all service men and women who are obviously top targets for terrorist attacks. However, Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats did not support the policy and would not allow the amendment to be accepted into the bill - along with hundreds of other amendments meant to strengthen our military and support our troops.
"As Senator McCain has stated, he is committed to including provisions in the conference agreement of the NDAA - which is currently being negotiated - that would enhance security at U.S. military installations, and other military facilities including recruiting stations, and ensure that military service members are able to defend themselves. ... With one son serving in the active duty military and another just back from Afghanistan and serving in the Guard, it is simply outrageous for anyone to imply that Senator McCain is not committed to ensuring that all men and women in uniform have the means to protect themselves in this dangerous world."
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., says fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain, R-Nev., blocked an amendment he submitted weeks before the horrendous Chattanooga shootings at a military recruiting center that would have allowed "military base commanders the authority" to authorize "service members to carry personal firearms."
McCain "didn't want the amendment as part of the [2016 National Defense Authorization] bill and wouldn't accept it," Heller said Thursday on the Lars Larson Show.
Since McCain is Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Heller's amendment went nowhere.
Just five days after the Chattanooga attacks, Heller re-submitted his amendment, asking "that National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conferees include" it to enable U.S. military men and women to defend themselves while in uniform.