The House Rules Committee on Tuesday is expected to decide on an amendment filed by Republican U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas that would allow servicemembers to carry loaded firerams at military posts.
Gohmert, who previously blamed mass shootings on the lack of dealing with mental health issues rather than on guns, last week submitted a change to authorize members of the armed forces to possess loaded firearms on military installations, in the wake of a list of tragedies that occurred recently at various army posts.
The purpose of providing servicemembers with 24-hour security monitoring is "to ensure the safety of Department of Defense military and civilian personnel" and for personal protection, Gohmert wrote in the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense bill. ThinkProgress reported Gohmert's motion.
The issue of arming soldiers has failed to gain much support from military leaders. Current law restricts servicemembers from possesssing weapons at military posts, under most circumstances. But as more troops return home, the country is faced with dealing with an increased number of soldiers suffering from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Americans last month renewed the debate on allowing guns at military bases after a shooting at Fort Hood in Texas claimed the lives of three people and wounded 16 more. The event was the second shooting at the base since 2009. A long string of tragedies recently affected other American posts, including the Washington Navy Yard and Fort Knox in Kentucky. Republicans argue that allowing guns at the installations could prevent future mass shootings, while Democrats continue to push for more gun-control restrictions to reduce potential harmful situations.
Gohmert, one of President Barack Obama's biggest critics, previously proposed allowing congressional leaders to carry firearms inside the Capitol and on the House floor after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was injured outside of a Tucson supermarket in 2011, according toThinkProgress. Additionally, Gohmert said blaming last September's Navy Yard shooting on guns was similar to disapproving of the use of spoons for causing obesity.