Johnson Introduces Bill to Protect Tribal Members Second Amendment Rights
“A tribal ID is just as valid as a driver’s license – tribal members deserve equal access to their Second Amendment rights – the Tribal Firearm Access Act ensures that.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Tribal Firearm Access Act to clarify that tribal governments are eligible entities to issue identification documents for the purposes of obtaining a firearm.
“Under current law, foreign passports are acceptable identification documents for individuals to purchase firearms, but tribal IDs are not, Congress should right this wrong.” said Johnson. “A tribal ID is just as valid as a driver’s license – tribal members deserve equal access to their Second Amendment rights – theTribal Firearm Access Act ensures that.”
“The fundamental right to keep and bear arms is dependent on the ability to lawfully acquire firearms. TheTribal Firearms Access Act would ensure Native Americans can use identification issued by federally recognized tribal governments to transfer a firearm under federal law. On behalf of our millions of members and supporters across the country, we thank Rep. Dusty Johnson for defending the rights of law-abiding Native American gun owners and offering this important legislation,” said Jason Ouimet, Executive Director of NRA-ILA.
“The NAIV, Inc. supports what Rep. Johnson’s bill would do and that is to put Indian tribal governments on an equal footing with other governments when it comes to issuing identification papers for purposes of firearms transactions,” said Don Loudner, enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and National Commander of the National American Indian Veterans, Inc.
“NSSF supports this no-nonsense measure that will ensure fair and accurate background checks for the purchase of a firearm at the point-of-sale,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The Firearm Industry Trade Association consistently advocates for improvements to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to confirm that only those who can be trusted to possess a firearm are able to purchase one from a firearm retailer. Our members rely on that system to be accurate and providing a means for tribal members to use their tribal identification cards will safeguard their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights while ensuring firearms remain out of the hands of those that cannot be trusted to possess them.”
“The National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) supports the commonsense approach to allow Photo Tribal Identification/Membership Cards to be utilized to purchase firearms. Many of Indian Country Tribal Members lack easy access to other forms of government approved identification. NNALEA realizes the importance of properly identifying purchasers of firearms. NNALEA believes the government approved Photo Tribal Identification/Membership Cards of Federally Recognized Tribes would be an important tool to achieve the lawful purchase of firearms. On behalf of our membership, we would like to thank you for your commitment to Indian Country issues,” said Gary L. Edwards, CEO, NNALEA.
U.S. Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Don Bacon (R-NE), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) are original cosponsors of the legislation.
The Tribal Firearms Access Act would declare that identification documents issued by tribal governments are generally accorded the same treatment under federal criminal law as identification documents issued by the Federal Government or by a state or local government.
This bill amends Section 1028(d) of Title 18 to include tribal governments as eligible entities to issue an identification document, highlighted below:
(3) the term “identification document” means a document made or issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, political subdivision of a State, a tribal government, a sponsoring entity of an event designated as a special event of national significance, a foreign government, political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental or an international quasi-governmental organization which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals;”