DOD’s Seemingly Good Intentions Could Hurt Hunters, Shooters in Military

DOD’s Seemingly Good Intentions Could Hurt Hunters, Shooters in Military

A Department of Defense (DOD)-funded report that seeks to undermine the Second Amendment-protected rights of U.S. servicemen and women could prove detrimental to hunters who are serving our country. Based on the study “Preventing Suicide in the U.S. Military: Recommendations from the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee,” it lashes out at the Second Amendment rights of those who fall under the federal government’s control.

According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), recommendations within the study would place onerous restrictions on those in America’s Armed Forces seeking to purchase firearms on DOD property. Among the recommendations are implementing a seven-day waiting period on firearms and a four-day waiting period on ammunition purchases, developing a national database for guns purchased on DOD property, raising the minimum age to buy guns or ammo to 25, and establishing command notification procedures when a service member or family member who lives on DOD property purchases a firearm on DOD property.

Other restrictions recommended in the report include requiring anyone living in military housing on DOD property to register all privately owned firearms with the installation’s arming authority and to securely store them in a locked safe or use a locking device. It also prohibits the possession of privately owned firearms that are not related to the performance of official duties on DOD property by anyone who does not live on DOD property and establishes a DOD policy restricting the possession and storage of privately owned firearms in military barracks and dormitories.

“The report also demands that Congress undermine a statute that protects service members’ Second Amendment rights and privacy,” said NRA-ILA. “Specifically, the authors want changes that would allow the Department of Defense to collect information on soldiers’ privately owned firearms that are wholly unconnected to their service in the armed forces.”

Many guns purchased on DOD property are purchased by hunters voluntarily serving in the armed forces to protect our country and our freedom. Targeting those freedom fighters with punitive restrictions on their constitutional rights is a slap in the face to those brave men and women who choose to serve.

Of course, trying to slow the rate of suicide among service members is a laudable goal, as it is a problem that needs and deserves attention and successful solutions. However, attempting to do so by curtailing the right to keep and bear arms of those hunters, target shooters and others in the military is a misguided tactic, at best.

In fact, NRA-ILA stressed in its report that all Americans—not just those in the military—should be active in fighting for the rights of our service members. It encourages gun owners outside the military community to take just as much interest in these issues as current and former service members.

“With these actions, gun control advocates are making clear exactly what sort of restrictions they would apply to the population at large and how they will abuse any portion of the government to undermine the right to keep and bear arms of those who fall under specific federal jurisdiction in the meantime,” NRA-ILA explained. “Depriving them of any authority to do so is crucial to preserving the Second Amendment right.”

About the Author
Freelance writer Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC in Jenks, Okla. An avid hunter, shooter and field-trialer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years, previously serving as editor of the NRA’s America’s First Freedom.