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Pentagon Approves Concealed Carry for Troops, Recruiters

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(Photo: Wikipedia)

As the old saying goes, better late than never.

Military Times reported earlier this week that U.S. military personnel can now apply to carry a private firearm for personal protection at government facilities.

The decision comes in the wake of several high-profile shootings on military bases over the last seven years, including one in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 people dead. The day of the shooting, Nidal Hasan, then an Army major and psychiatrist, entered the Fort Hood deployment center carrying two pistols, jumped on a desk and shouted “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great” — then opened fire, according to TaskandPurpose.com.

Lawmakers scrutinized the U.S. government policy against allowing service members to carry concealed weapons on military bases. The new directive will hopefully deter the kind of lone-wolf attacks like the one in Fort Hood.

Service members have always been allowed to carry firearms as a part of their job responsibilities, but the new directive permits concealed carry “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties.”

The approval process will be handled by each individual military service, but the officials must have a minimum rank of lieutenant colonel, commander, or the civilian equivalent to approve requests.

Service members must be at least 21 years old and meet all federal, state, and local laws and host-nation requirements to carry a concealed firearm on Defense Department property.

“Written permission will be valid for 90 days or as long as the DoD Component deems appropriate and will include information necessary to facilitate the carrying of the firearm on DoD property consistent with safety and security, such as the individual’s name, duration of the permission to carry, type of firearm, etc.,” according to the document.

The new policy also clarifies the ability of commanders to arm military recruiters while performing their official duties.

“Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters,” Army Maj. Jamie Davis told Military Times on Monday. “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”

In April 2014, another attack at Fort Hood took the lives of three soldiers and wounded 12 others. The shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez, took his own life in the subsequent confrontation with military police.

Two additional attacks in July 2015 — one on a recruiting station and one on a Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee — provided the final motivations for the new concealed carry policy.

The directive will take effect on Nov. 18 and does not apply does not apply to troops in war zones or members of the National Guard who are not working in a federal status.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • US Veteran & Military Spouse November 25, 2016, 12:58 pm

    This recent development might seem great, and it IS a step in the right direction….but that’s about all.

    The thing that bugs me is I’m a US Army Veteran (non retiree) and my wife has been active duty USAF for almost 13 years now. We just got stationed at Hill AFB this year (previously at McGuire AFB….yuck) and as such I can finally CC again. The downside is when we go out I have to ask “Are we heading to the base for any reason?”. If so, then I have to put my CC pistol back in the safe.

    Sure, she has her CCP as well, but the CC pistol is my weapon. Yep, she can legally use my weapon…..on base even (although she’d have to apply for it), but I can’t even apply to carry on base because I’m no longer in the service. If you’ve got base ID with full base privileges then you should also be allowed to carry concealed on base. My wife is a good shot, but she never CCs due to the types of clothes women wear these days that are in style….yoga pants, skinny jeans etc….(and she doesn’t carry a purse). I carry to protect my family. This recent development about CCing on base changes nothing for me and many other Military Spouses that CC regularly as well.

  • US Veteran & Military Spouse November 25, 2016, 12:57 pm

    This recent development might seem great, and it IS a step in the right direction….but that’s about all.

    The thing that bugs me is I’m a US Army Veteran (non retiree) and my wife has been active duty USAF for almost 13 years now. We just got stationed at Hill AFB this year (previously at McGuire AFB….yuck) and as such I can finally CC again. The downside is when we go out I have to ask “Are we heading to the base for any reason?”. If so, then I have to put my CC pistol back in the safe.

    Sure, she has her CCP as well, but the CC pistol is my weapon. Yep, she can legally use my weapon…..on base even (although she’d have to apply for it), but I can’t even apply to carry on base because I’m no longer in the service. If you’ve got base ID with full base privileges then you should also be allowed to carry concealed on base. My wife is a good shot, but she never CCs due to the types of clothes women wear these days that are in style….yoga pants, skinny jeans etc….(and she doesn’t carry a purse). I carry to protect my family. This recent development about CCing on base changes nothing for me and many other Military Spouses that CC regularly as well.

  • Chuck Matson November 25, 2016, 12:44 pm

    Look how long its taken for this to happen! Dang shame we have a jerk in the WH who hates the military like obama does. Thank God that socialist witch didn’t win!

  • Edward E. Vincent Jr November 25, 2016, 11:10 am

    Wonder if it will apply to retirees that carry concealed weapons by permit in their states.

  • Bisley November 25, 2016, 10:29 am

    When you read the details of what is and is not allowed, the arbitrary approval process, etc., it really changes nothing. Unless you can convince someone O-5 or higher (who will automatically refer it to the base commander) that you have a specific need to carry a gun, you will not get permission. Even the few who might be approved are restricted from carrying in numerous circumstances and locations.

    The ban on guns on military bases is also a great hassle for civilians who carry. Traveling salesmen, truck drivers, etc. who have business on base (and don’t have the option of leaving their guns at home, since home may be several days travel away) are in a constant quandary trying to hide their guns from security inspections, or find some safe place to leave them off-base. Some bases used to allow you to check weapons at the gate, and pick them up on the way out — Obama has even put an end to this. What is needed is to allow anyone (military, or civilian) with a license to carry to do so on military installations — and in areas where there is a real cause to prohibit them, to have facilities to check weapons.

  • Wake_UpAmerica November 25, 2016, 9:52 am

    Usual Gov’t fashion, finally get a good idea and then put ridiculous time restraints (90 days) on it. Oh boy, why is Uncle Sam always so silly and backwards and difficult. I don’t know why people want anything to do with this oppressive regime called the US. Was once a great place, not so much anymore folks.

  • Billybob November 25, 2016, 9:22 am

    Make America Great ! Government for the People by the People ! HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS !
    The PEOPLE have let Government RUN WILD for to LONG !
    It was during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, not Bill Clinton, that the U.S. Department of Defense issued a directive in February 1992 affecting the carrying of firearms on bases by military personnel. That directive was eventually implemented through a regulation 190-14 issued by the Department of the Army (not via executive order) in March 1993, just two months after President Clinton assumed office.

  • Billybob November 25, 2016, 9:09 am

    TRUE AMERICAN HERO\’S !!!
    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Marines and sailors risked their lives for one another in Chattanooga last week, trying to distract the gunman who assaulted a naval center, helping people scale a fence for safety and returning fire at the attacker, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
    Some of the five servicemen who were fatally wounded effectively sacrificed themselves during the assault on Thursday, diverting the gunman from a larger group of potential victims, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation into the killings.
    “This could have been a lot worse,” said the official, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation. “It could have been a horrible, horrible massacre — so much worse.”
    Slain Troops in Chattanooga Saved Lives Before Giving Their Own
    By RICHARD FAUSSET, RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA and MATT APUZZOJULY 22, 2015
    At a news conference here, the F.B.I. confirmed that at least one service member shot at the attacker, but did not say whether he had managed to wound the gunman, Mohammod Abdulazeez, who was killed minutes later in a shootout with the Chattanooga police.
    “A service member from inside the facility observed him and opened fire on him, firing several rounds at him,” said Edward W. Reinhold, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Knoxville office. Two guns belonging to service members were recovered from the scene, he said, and “at least one of those weapons had been discharged.”

  • Pete November 25, 2016, 8:04 am

    90 DAYS! LET’S MAKE SMALL FACILITIES GUN FREE ZONES AFTER 90 DAYS! AND WHY ONLY SENIOR OFFICERS? I’VE NEVER SEEN A SENIOR OFFICER AT A RECRUITING STATION! IN FACT, RECRUITERS ARE NORMALLY ENLISTED PERSONNEL! THANKS FOR NOTHING!

    • Gordon November 25, 2016, 8:46 am

      That is to oversee not carry.

    • John November 25, 2016, 8:50 am

      I believe the rank is only applied to those in the approval process, not those who apply. The 90 days seems to be a suggested term limit, but we will see how many up top use common sense.

    • Ed November 25, 2016, 9:06 am

      I agree that 90 days is oddly short. The senior officer requirement is mentioned as part of how approval is given, not who is permitted to be given approval. Though the wording in the article is somewhat unclear, it seems that the senior officer limitation is on who can give permission, not on who can receive permission.

  • k9base November 25, 2016, 7:05 am

    obama no likey,,,,

  • k9base November 25, 2016, 7:05 am

    obama is outraged……

  • Joe November 25, 2016, 6:34 am

    Well, this is one idea that is long overdue. I like it but the idea of having to re apply every 90 days (if I read it correctly) seems a bit redundant. Our men in uniform should possess the ability to protect themselves here in the homeland as well as overseas.

    • Sgt. Pop November 25, 2016, 11:20 am

      Agree, however at least a step in the right direction. The catch here as I see it, is the approving authority. Many offices may think twice about granting permission to “carry” if they think they will be responsible for any misuse of said “carry”, and they would. With over 20 years in uniform, I anticipate this being a slow, if not rare process.

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