A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week to allow military spouses to purchase handguns in states their husbands or wives are permanently stationed.
An exemption was added to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which restricts gun purchase outside of one’s state of residence, for active duty military personnel assigned to a permanent duty station. The “Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act” is seen as an extension of that exemption, said Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia, the bill’s sponsor.
The lawmaker said he wants to give military families the tools they need to protect themselves from Islamic extremists following the release of a 100-name “hit list” of military targets by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The list was reportedly posted to a website in March by a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division and called for “lone wolf” ISIS sympathizers to kill those named.
“ISIS, and other terrorist organizations that do not share our nation’s values, see confrontation with the United States as inevitable, and desperately seek new ways to harm our fellow Americans – particularly members of our military community and their loved ones,” Rigell said in a statement.
The congressman said almost 20 of the families publicly targeted on the ISIS list live within his district in the Southeastern Virginia region of Hampton Roads.
“We have an obligation to protect these men and women and ensure they have access to the resources they need to defend themselves and their families in any community they are stationed for duty,” Rigell said.
In September, the Army Threat Integration Center released a report warning ISIS supporters were using social media to issue threats against Americans, NBC News reported. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in December reportedly recommended service members remove anything from their social media accounts that would gain the notice of violent extremists.
A g roup claiming to be ISIS hacked YouTube and Twitter accounts of the U.S. Central Command in January, posting several messages, including one that read, “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK.”