Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bill Expanding Gun Rights for Full-Time Travelers, Active Duty Military

By Madeline Leesman

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Mike Rounds (SD) reintroduced the Traveler’s Guns Rights Act, a bill that would update federal law to remove roadblocks for full-time travelers, active duty military personnel and their spouses and people with multiple addresses who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights. 

Current U.S. law requires citizens who want to purchase a firearm to fill out paperwork listing an address. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF) does not allow gun buyers to list a P.O. Box or Private Mailbox (PMB) on the form. Many full-time travelers utilize these methods to receive mail. 

“As a supporter of the Second Amendment, I am committed to protecting the rights of lawful gun owners,” Rounds said in a press release on Thursday. “The Traveler’s Gun Rights Act removes an unfair prohibition facing Americans with unique living situations. This legislation will make certain that law-abiding citizens do not face a burdensome roadblock when trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

North Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson (R) released the companion bill in the U.S. House. 

“Law-abiding RV-ers, active duty military, military spouses, and others who rely on a P.O. Box for their primary mailing address have difficulties trying to get a firearm,” Johnson said of the legislation on Twitter. “I introduced the Traveler’s Gun Rights Act to solve this problem.”

"Just because a law-abiding citizen relies on a P.O. Box as their primary address doesn’t mean their Second Amendment rights should be limited," Johnson said in a press release. “South Dakota is home to many RV-ers and active-duty military who have this problem when trying to obtain a firearm. My bill seeks to correct that.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY.) and Mike Braun (R-IN). It is backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Firearm Industry Trade Association. 

“The Second Amendment rights of Americans should never be denied simply because some Americans choose to use a post office box address instead of a physical address,” Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, said of the legislation. “This is especially important to Americans with unique living situations that aren’t fixed physical locations and those active duty military members who routinely move from one location to another." 

"Senator Rounds’ legislation fixes this overlooked obstacle that disenfranchises citizens of the full spectrum of their Second Amendment rights while ensuring the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System ensures firearms remain out of the hands of those who should never possess them," Keane added.