Tester bill would allow combat veterans to register trophy firearms

Senator’s bipartisan legislation would let veterans legally own guns won on the battlefield

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to allow American combat veterans to legally register firearms they acquired on the field of battle.

American veterans who acquired certain types of weapons during combat under rules of military conflict—guns known as “trophy” firearms—are typically unable to legally register the weapons.

Tester’s bipartisan measure would open a 90-day period for veterans and their families to register firearms for legal ownership.  The bill would apply specifically to machineguns and other automatic firearms, and would not impact more common trophy weapons like bolt-action rifles or semi-automatic pistols, which do not need to be registered.

“This is about respecting America’s war heroes, and making sure they can pass on some of their heritage to their kids and grandkids,” said Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.  “These are the same brave men who left their homes and crossed oceans to fight for the freedoms we enjoy today.  If this bill will make it a little bit easier for them to pass on that history, then we should get it done.”

Tester’s legislation is backed by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). 

The measure applies to any American veteran stationed outside the continental United States and who acquired a firearm in combat between June 26, 1934 and October 31, 1968.  Congress granted a similar open-registration period in 1968—however, the relatively short 30-day period meant many veterans were unable to meet the deadline.

A copy of Tester’s bipartisan bill is available on his website, HERE.