Protecting Our Military At Home
The shooting that took place on July 16, 2015, outside of a U.S. military recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee claimed the lives of five of our brave servicemen. Every day, military personnel are asked to stand in harm’s way to protect our freedoms. Our service members sacrifice their lives in defense of this country, and for that we are truly grateful. As your Congressman, it is my duty to make sure that our military is prepared both at home and abroad.
Sadly, as you may know, the terrorist act that took place in Chattanooga is not the first attack on unarmed military personnel. Islamic extremists hold no reservations against indiscriminately murdering unarmed individuals. It is imperative that our military members are allowed to arm themselves in the event of another attack.
For this reason, I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 3139, the Securing Military Personnel Response Firearm Initiative Act. Representative Duncan Hunter (CA-50) introduced this legislation on July 21, 2015, and it was referred to the House Armed Services Committee for consideration. If enacted, H.R. 3139 would authorize an eligible member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty at an Armed Forces recruitment center to carry a service-issue sidearm as a personal- or force-protection measure while on duty at the recruiting center.
Along with many of my colleagues, I also cosigned a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter requesting that he withdraw Department of Defense Directive 5210.56. This directive essentially disarmed military forces while on base. I hope Secretary Carter will be mindful of this request, and allow our military personnel to protect themselves on base and in recruitment centers.