One Virginia lawmaker is hoping his concern for the wives and husbands of deployed service members will result in an expansion of their gun rights. Republican Rep. Scott Rigell recently introduced a bill that, if passed, would allow military spouses living in Virginia to purchase firearms while their families reside in the state.
There were several factors that led Rigell to propose such legislation.
“Considering the threats we face from Islamic extremists – foreign and domestic – and lone wolves,” he said, “it is prudent that our military families have the tools they need to protect their loved ones.”
As representative of the Virginia district with the most active duty military members, Rigell explained that he is uniquely attuned to the complaints of military families. Specifically, he said he has heard that a 1968 law has prevented the spouses of servicemen and women serving in other states from purchasing a gun in Virginia according to Western Journalism.
“We have an obligation to protect these men and women,” he asserted, “and ensure they have access to the resources they need to defend themselves and their families in any community they are stationed for duty.”
Rigell’s proposal would fill a gap he recognized in the aforementioned Gun Control Act, which allows service members to purchase firearms in the state they are stationed in but offers no such allowance for their spouses.
“Spouses should be able to purchase handguns in their state where their husband or wife is stationed,” he said. “They have the right to protect themselves; and this bill allows them to fully exercise their Second Amendment right.”
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