Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation they are finalizing a bill that would address a key gun regulation that could have influenced the outcome of the Chattanooga shooting. The shooting left four Marines dead after a man opened fire on a recruiting center before moving on to wound three more military members at a Naval reserve center.
Official Department of Defense policy prevents military members from carrying guns while on duty unless they are specifically working in a security or law enforcement capacity.
Advocates are saying this disarming of the troops is leaving them vulnerable to attacks like at Fort Hood and most recently Chattanooga.
Hunter’s bill will give the Pentagon two options: let officers in charge of recruiting centers carry a weapon or provide the recruiting center with outside security.
Military installations have armed guards, but recruiting centers are vulnerable while recruiters are banned from bringing their weapons to work, even if their state laws allow it. Hunter wants to change that.
“Until we get our hands wrapped around this, we have to allow the people who represent the United States military to defend themselves, at the least,” Hunter said in a statement to TheDCNF. “If you go on any base, you have armed security there. … Recruiting centers in a strip mall, they have no defense against people who just hate America and hate our military. They’ve got nothing.”
The ban on the federal government deploying armed troops on U.S. soil is known as the Posse Comitatus Act, and it dates back to 1878.