Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen Gun Rights for Nomads, Military
A bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate aims to fix the problems faced by people who live a nomadic lifestyle or don’t have a permanent address and wish to register a firearms license.
The Traveler’s Gun Rights Act would allow people who live full-time in RVs, have multiple homes, or are military personnel and their spouses to register alternate addresses on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) paperwork.
Currently, firearm buyers are required to list an address on ATF paperwork, but PO Boxes or Private Mailboxes (PMBs) are prohibited. This restriction adversely affects full-time travelers, many of whom live in their RVs year-round and rely on PO Boxes or PMBs to receive mail.
U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced the legislation in a bid to remove what they see as an unfair denial of Second Amendment rights for Americans with unique living situations.
“No law-abiding American should be denied their Second Amendment rights,” Crapo said in a statement. “Military spouses and RV owners are just two examples of full-time travelers who are blocked from obtaining a firearm under current law. The Traveler’s Gun Rights Act is a commonsense solution that will finally address this oversight.”
According to Risch, an individual’s decision not to hold a traditional address should not preclude them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. This bill, he said, would protect this fundamental right for Americans “regardless of their living situation.”
Rounds echoed his colleagues’ concerns, saying the bill removes the “unfair prohibition” facing Americans with “unique living situations.”
“This legislation will make certain that law-abiding citizens do not face a burdensome roadblock when trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” he said.
Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced a companion bill in the GOP-controlled House, which he announced on March 10.
The bill is also endorsed by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF, said the bill is important for active duty military members who move frequently and others not at fixed addresses.
“Senator Rounds’ legislation fixes this overlooked obstacle that disenfranchises citizens of the full spectrum of their Second Amendment rights while ensuring the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System ensures firearms remain out of the hands of those who should never possess them,” Keane said.
The legislation was co-sponsored by seven senators, including Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.).
“Bureaucratic red tape shouldn’t be used to stop law-abiding Americans and our brave servicemembers from purchasing a firearm. It’s their constitutional right, and that’s what the Traveler’s Gun Rights Act would protect,” Hyde-Smith said in a statement.
The companion legislation introduced by Johnson in the House was cosponsored by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Jake LaTurner (R-Kans.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), and Chris Stewart (R-Utah).
Lawmakers introduced a previous version of the bill in the 117th Congress.