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Intent on protecting Second Amendment rights, U. S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., cosponsored legislation to allow military spouses to purchase handguns in the state where their partner is stationed for duty. Enzi also sent a letter last week with other senators against a plan by the federal government to prevent certain seniors from being able to purchase a gun.  

Current law restricts a citizen from legally purchasing a handgun in any state other than the one in which they reside. The Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act, led by Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, both R-S.D., would provide an exception for military spouses to purchases handguns in the state where their spouse is permanently stationed for duty or in a neighboring state if the military spouse commutes across state borders to their duty installation. An exception for active duty service members who are on permanent duty station orders is already made so that they can be considered a resident of the state in which they are assigned.

“The safety of these brave men and women’s families should not be lessened because they are assigned to live in another state,” Enzi said. “It is not only important to protect the members of our armed forces but to ensure that their families are able to be protected too.”

Enzi and Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., also joined Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho and 24 other senators in signing a letter to express disappointment over the Social Security Administration plan to report certain social security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). NICS is used by the federal government to prevent gun sales to individuals who are felons, drug addicts, illegal or unlawful immigrants, and others.

The letter urged the SSA to suspend all efforts of their plan to report old-age and disability benefit recipients who are assigned as a “representative payee”, meaning they are designated as unable to manage their financial affairs, to the NICS. The senators also called for a detailed report on the basis for the SSA’s intentions.

“Old age or a disability does not make someone a threat to society. Having a representative payee should not be grounds to revoke constitutional rights,” the senators stated in their letter.