Soldiers in Iowa who’re on active duty would be able to buy guns without first aquiring a permit if a bill that cleared a House subcommittee becomes law. Representative Dwayne Alons, a Republican from Hull, says 37 states allow active duty military to buy guns without a permit.

“A person that’s been trained within the military have had good exposure to weapons, have knowledge and ability,” Alons says.

The bill would apply to Iowa National Guard soldiers who’re on active duty within the state, as well as any active duty soldiers who’re in Iowa on a training mission. Alons estimates his proposal might apply to a few thousand active duty soldiers who want to buy a gun.

“From my standpoint, I’d rather be talking about Second Amendment rights, constitutional right-to-carry and having a lot of this permitting process eliminated, but we’re not at point today,” Alons says. “And this is, I would say, one small step.”

Alons, who is a retired Air Force officer, tried last year to extend the no-permit-needed gun buying authority to any military veteran who was honorably discharged, but the bill failed to clear a House committee. The chairman of the Senate committee that would review Alons’ bill has said he has no interest in considering gun-related legislation in 2014.