As a reaction to the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009, some military bases and Department of Defense (DOD) installations have instituted or are looking at instituting regulations that violate the Second Amendment rights of soldiers and individuals working for the DOD. In an effort to address these potential second amendment violations, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today introduced S. 3388, the Service Member Second Amendment Protection Act of 2010. This bill protects the second amendment rights of soldiers and DOD civilian employees by prohibiting the DOD from requiring the registration of privately owned firearms, ammunition, or other weapons beyond what is already required by state and federal law. The bill also ensures that second amendment rights are not violated as a result of the DOD Independent Review Related to Fort Hood which calls for a review of DOD privately owned weapons policy.
"The heinous acts of Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood last year and the events that lead to his attack should be properly addressed," Inhofe said. "Punishing law abiding citizens who work at military installations and honorably serving members of our military by violating their second amendment rights is not an acceptable approach. Adding more gun ownership regulations on top of existing state and federal law does not address the problems associated with Hasan's case, nor will gun ownership over-regulation prevent similar heinous attacks in the future. This bill will prevent current and potential second amendment violations for those serving and employed by the Department of Defense.
"I traveled to Fort Hood after the attacks and met with the families of those who lost their loved ones. We owe it to them and to the rest of our military family to have a real approach to prevent future attacks. Political correctness and violating Constitutional rights dishonors those who lost their lives and is an extreme disservice to those who continue to serve their country."
Inhofe worked closely with the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the development of the legislation, gaining NRA support.
About the Bill-
- S. 3388 allows a military or civilian employee of the Department of Defense to possess, own, carry, or use a private owned firearm or ammunition in keeping with state and federal laws without the additional interference of the Department of Defense when those items are not located on property owned and operated by DOD.
- The Department of Defense will continue to regulate military and civilian employee's possession of a firearm while on official business or in uniform.
- Regulations adopted before the enactment of this S. 3388 that prohibit the protection of second amendment rights will be void.