Sunday, July 26, 2015

Servicemembers Self-Defense Act of 2015

In response to the recent fatal attack on military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Kentucky Republican Sen. (and presidential candidate) Rand Paul has introduced the Servicemembers Self-Defense Act of 2015. It would, among other things, amend the General Article (article 134, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 934):
(1) by inserting ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—’’ before ‘‘Though not specifically mentioned’’; and

(2) by adding at the end the following new sub- section:

‘‘(b) POSSESSION OF A FIREARM.—The possession of a concealed or open carry firearm by a member of the armed forces subject to this chapter on a military installation, if lawful under the laws of the State in which the installation is located, is not an offense under this section.’’.
The Editor will leave the substantive wisdom of this and other provisions of Sen. Paul's bill for others to evaluate, but it does seem unfortunate to perform this highly particularized surgery on what is supposed to be a general provision of military law. The Uniform Code of Military Justice needs to be changed; tampering with Article 134 to address this single issue is scarcely the way to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Regrettably this is symptomatic of a--fairly recent--general tendency within the legislature, to muck about with the UCMJ on an ad hoc basis.


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