House Lawmakers are already annoyed over the Pentagon’s failure of establishing rules that would allow more military personnel to carry personal firearms while on duty.
The House lawmakers are not threatening to withhold funding the Department of Defense does not finalize the plan.
Members of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday revised their initial draft to the annual defense authorization bill to withhold 15 percent of the defense secretary’s policy funding if the firearms rule is not implied and approved by the end of this year. In addition, the lawmakers are also pressurizing on easing the background-check requirements for military spouses and dependents who would move with active duty members for change of station.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, introduced both the proposals calling the issues basic measures of safety and fairness for the troops. According to him, the amendments would allow the troops to practice their Second Amendment rights.
“These are lives. These are soldiers’ lives, sailors and Marines,” he said.
Note that the House committee added language to the 2016 defense authorization bill to give military installation commanders more flexibility to determine who can carry firearms. This also includes carrying personal weapons while on the base.
In addition, back in October, Defense Secretary Ash Carter proposed plans to allow qualified individuals to carry appropriate firearms on the base. On the other hand, Democrats have opposed the threat to withhold funding, calling it harmful for the troops.
“Yes, they should give us the report, but we don’t want to tie the hands of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to do their best to provide for the military. The presence of more firearms in a place may not make it safer,” said ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash.