Why can't military members carry personal weapons on bases?


...When your career and your retirement are dependent on the actions of a 19 year old you start reducing every thing to the lowest common denominator. ...
In what state can 19 year olds carry handguns?
 

FL, TX, GA, and MO will issue permits to military personnel under 21 years old. I'm sure there are other states, too.
 
FL, TX, GA, and MO will issue permits to military personnel under 21 years old. I'm sure there are other states, too.
I didn't realize the new policy would only apply to military personnel. Civilian workers on-base are still screwed I guess.
 
@Blueshell, did you read the policy? Personal arming isn't limited to military members. What led you to believe it is?
 
@Blueshell, did you read the policy? Personal arming isn't limited to military members. What led you to believe it is?
Your post #63 regarding military members.

Until this very discussion I wasn’t aware of any legal device which allowed anyone under 19 to carry a handgun in public.

I was aware of UCMJ exceptions for MPs but that’s only while on-duty.

If a 19 year old cannot be trusted with a firearm then that 19 year old should not be in the military.
 
Your post #63 regarding military members.

Until this very discussion I wasn’t aware of any legal device which allowed anyone under 19 to carry a handgun in public.

I was aware of UCMJ exceptions for MPs but that’s only while on-duty.

If a 19 year old cannot be trusted with a firearm then that 19 year old should not be in the military.

I would contend that most 19 year olds can be trusted, and the DoD policy on personal carry should change. 18+ can carry in an official capacity--that hasn't changed.

I suspect the age requirement of 21 for carrying personal weapons on a military installation was done to provide consistency with federal laws regarding the sale of handguns from FFLs, and the widespread adoption among many states limiting the age for carrying a handgun to 21 and older.
 
Despite the NDAA provisions and the DOD policy update, most military installations are still not allowing concealed carry. There are rumors that a couple of service chiefs vehemently objected to the provisions in the new policy. It remains unclear how or if the new administration will move forward with eliminating the "gun free zone" status of military installations.

In any case, there are a few bright spots emerging.

Effective yesterday, on Scott AFB IL, LEOSA-credentialed persons can now carry in their facilities with the exception of facilities owned by several tenant organizations.* "No Firearms" stickers are posted on those facilities.
*
All other personnel, including employees, inhabitants, and visitors, may bring a firearm onto the installation and keep it stored in a vehicle, unloaded and in a locked container.* The installation commander signed the 16 Jan 2017 policy, released officially today, entitled "Privately Owned Firearm (POF) Vehicle Carriage/Storage Authorization, Policies, and Procedures on Scott AFB."* Primary content follows.
*
1. I hereby authorize portal-to-portal transport of Privately Owned Firearms (POFs) on/off Scott AFB IAW Illinois state laws and in compliance with the additional restrictions specified below. This policy applies to all base employees and inhabitants (active duty, reserve, guard, and civil service) assigned to Scott AFB and any visitors to the installation.
*
2.*Personnel may transit on/off Scott AFB with a POF as long as the weapon is configured to the following guidelines prior to entering, and at all times while within, the installation’s boundaries. Under no circumstances will personnel have a loaded weapon on the installation or remove weapons from their vehicles while on the installation. Additionally, all personnel must declare their firearms to Security Forces (SF) personnel during a traffic stop, vehicle inspection, Random Antiterrorism Measure, or Random Installation Entry Vehicle Check.
*
**** a. IAW AFI 31-101, Integrated Defense, paragraph 8.4.2.1.2., “Transported privately owned weapons/firearms will be completely unloaded (no magazine or ammunition in the weapon), and POF must be in a locked container. For purposes of this subsection, ‘locked container’ includes a lockable glove box or center console, the trunk of a car, a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container. The proper storing of the POF must be done before entering the installation. Additionally, POF must be secured in a completely enclosed vehicle (no motorcycles or convertibles with top down).”
*
3. This new policy allows for personnel to transport/store their weapon(s) in their vehicles while on base and provide an opportunity for lawful carry of POFs while off of the installation. This guidance will be incorporated into the Integrated Defense Plan 31-1.
*
*
It doesn't come close to concealed carry, but at least those who commute to the base, attend off-base activities immediately after work, or drive long distances (e.g. retirees who visit the Commissary or the Clinic) now don't have to remain unarmed when visiting or leaving the base.
 
Well, back to the original question of "why" (at least over the past 10 years) -- this issue has not changed over the past 40 years. I was in 40 to 35 years ago and it was the same then as it is now --

- the law from your off-base residence to the front gate is governed by local State law;

- the law from the front gate to your unit is governed by the base commander.

I lived at the B.O.Q. at the south end of the base, and it was a long 15 minute drive into the interior of the big base to my unit HQ where we parked our howitzers and vehicles and where the troops were quartered in barracks.

The barracks area was governed jointly by the base commander (a general) and the unit commander (a colonel).

The colonel wanted all guns locked up in the armory except during training in the field -- either on the practice range or while practicing field operation, maneuvers, etc.

The general didn't want anyone walking or driving around the base armed except for the duty officers in the various battalions and regiments. Not even the colonels were armed. Only the lieutenants who were on duty as the O/D (officer of the day).

Only the military police were allowed to be armed, with guns locked and loaded. MP's (or SP's -- what the Navy calls them) go to a special school 2 to 3 months long. Besides procedure training they also receive additional pistol training. This is about the only time in the military/naval services that pistol training is actually given.

So here is my own opinion as to "why" -- the generals know that nobody except the MP's / SP's actually get pistol training therefore they don't want anyone running around their bases except for the O/D's.

Additionally, since most if not all (by now) bases are guarded and access is limited by MP's / SP's, the generals ass-u-me that no criminal activity will make its way onto the base.
 
In the Navy, it's not just SP's who get pistol training and qualification. The sailors who stand watch at the base and station gates, piers and ship quarterdecks also do. Roving patrol watchstanders and high security area quarterdeck watchstanders have armed sailors.
 
Regarding the new policy at Scott " unloaded and in a locked container." - that's just stupid. That means anyone who carries will have to unload the weapon before entering the base, and reload after leaving. That unnecessary administrative handling, most likely inside a vehicle, is a recipe for an ND.

Better the policy at Dyess, where it's only required that the handgun be placed in a secure container.

I do like the Scott policy for allowing ANY authorized visitor. Some of the other bases that have adopted similar policies are a bit to a lot more restrictive.
 
Additionally, since most if not all (by now) bases are guarded and access is limited by MP's / SP's, the generals ass-u-me that no criminal activity will make its way onto the base.
That's a wild assumption. When I served on a base level exercise evaluation team, we regularly attempted to commit armed robberies of various base facilities. This was in addition to the robberies done by the Security Police themselves. BTW, with my Porsche 911 I usually got away, although it was a very distinctive getaway car.
 
My own key conclusion about the generals and the admirals who do not allow anyone other than M/P's and S/P's to carry loaded (whether openly or concealed) on their bases is therefore because they ass-u-me. Seems like it has been too long since their own officer boot camps when the USMC D/I's taught them "never ass-u-me". Ironic but true.

Back when I was in, 40 to 35 years ago, there were no real threats on base to anyone. But now times have changed immensely.

Now there are muslims self-radicalizing for islam and shooting military personnel such as at Fort Hood, Little Rock, and Chattanooga.

One of these was on base while the other two were out in town. Hard to say if Fort Hood was just an aberration or not.

I'm sure the generals and admirals all believe these are all aberrations and not the norm, therefore they are ass-u-me-ing it won't happen on their own bases.
 
HKS:
When I first started with the military over sixty years ago, the Korean War was ending and troops returning home from combat. After being in a war, their temperaments were quite different and threats to one's safety, even without being armed, were higher than normal. Fortunately, there was no right to carry on post. Even after the war had been over for years, no one was allowed to carry on post, yet there were few problems and only an occasional death. We had periodic inspections of POVs to insure no one had a concealed weapon and did confiscate some.

During the Vietnam war years, things changed considerably and some troops came home being as dangerous here as they were in Vietnam. The prohibition on carrying on post had its merits and, up until the last couple of years, was very effective. Since the Middle East wars, there seems to be no safe environment anywhere and the situation needs to be given serious consideration in light of the threats from Muslims (in and out of uniform) and illegal immigrants from who knows where, and terrorist threats on a daily basis.

On a base close to me, there are armed contracting companies providing law enforcement duties as well as a small complement of military police. Carrying on post is not an option which irritates me since I live thirty miles from post and can't take my weapon when I visit there. The military is aware of threats to the post since multiple barriers have been erected to prohibit entry except through manned gates and there are bulletproof shields for the guards now. Security has been stepped up at most installations which indicates the government is aware of possible threats and, as a possible means of not exacerbating any problems that may arise, it is preferred to not allow everyone and their brother to run around armed. Just a thought.

Personally, I would much prefer to be allowed to carry on post, as would most others, but that will not happen until a tremendous amount of pressure, or terrorist attacks, cause DOD to rethink its policies. I would venture a guess that if authority is ever given for on post carry, the process will take several years to accomplish. As has been seen on here, several people have different ideas on who would be allowed to carry, their rank, etc., etc. There would be a lot of in-put into the process but, unfortunately, very little out-put.
 
The prohibition on carrying on post had its merits and, up until the last couple of years, was very effective.

I must beg to differ. The prohibition on carrying on post is 90% an on your own honor system as are most gun prohibitions. 90% of the time the only thing keeping someone from bringing a firearm onto a military base in the US is that metal sign posted at the front gate and the fear of the very small possibility of actually getting caught with it before it is actually used. Granted, there is a greater chance of getting caught with the gun since random vehicle inspections with no probable cause are authorized on base (unlike in the civilian world) - but the overall chance is still small and only really keeps the honest person honest.
 
I must beg to differ. The prohibition on carrying on post is 90% an on your own honor system as are most gun prohibitions. 90% of the time the only thing keeping someone from bringing a firearm onto a military base in the US is that metal sign posted at the front gate and the fear of the very small possibility of actually getting caught with it before it is actually used. Granted, there is a greater chance of getting caught with the gun since random vehicle inspections with no probable cause are authorized on base (unlike in the civilian world) - but the overall chance is still small and only really keeps the honest person honest.

I totally agree with your assertion about the honor system being one's guide when carrying. One's honor meant a lot at one time in the military but, like everything else, that has changed also. As leaders, it was our job to instill pride and honor into our subordinates and that honor was followed by them not bringing unauthorized firearms onto an installation. Of course there were some who didn't follow the regulations but not quite to the same extreme as today. Discipline was much stricter then but, all in all, we didn't do so bad. But yes, signs such as you refer to kept us honest but there is nothing wrong with that.

Regardless of what "used to wuz," I am for carrying on post now. Given the world situation and the threats everywhere, it might be prudent to allow it but I can nearly guarantee you that the process for approval at any installation will have some very stringent requirements until we can all prove that there isn't the threat perceived by the Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley.
The following article from Military.com does offer some hope that authorized carry is on its way but I will not hold my breath until it happens.


EWS
DoD Releases Plan to Allow Personnel to Carry Firearms on Base

Military.com | 21 Nov 2016 | by Matthew Cox
The Pentagon recently released detailed guidance that allows U.S. military personnel to carry privately owned, concealed firearms on base, a move that the Army's service chief argued against publicly.

"Arming and the Use of Force," a Nov. 18 Defense Department directive approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, lays out the policy and standards that allow DoD personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties.

But the lengthy document also provides detailed guidance to the services for permitting soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property, according to the document.

Commanders, O-5 and above, "may grant permission to DoD personnel requesting to carry a privately owned firearm (concealed or open carry) on DoD property for a personal protection purpose not related to performance of an official duty or status," the document states.

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, the age many states require an individual to be to own a firearm, according to the document. Proof of compliance may include a concealed handgun license that is valid under federal, state, local or host-nation law where the DoD property is located.

"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.

Until now, DoD personnel have not been authorized to carry personal firearms on military installations, a policy that has come under scrutiny in the wake of "active-shooter" attacks at U.S. military bases resulting in the deaths of service members.

Lawmakers have questioned military leaders about the policy, arguing that allowing service members to be armed might have prevented attacks such as the July 16, 2015, shootings at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which four Marines and a sailor were shot and killed. The gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was killed by police in a gunfight.

But Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has argued against reversing the DoD policy that prohibits service members from carrying concealed weapons on post.

Testifying at an April 14 congressional hearing, Milley cited the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 42 others were injured. 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.

Milley defended the short time it took for law enforcement to secure the scene and said he is not convinced that allowing soldiers to carry privately owned weapons would have stopped Hasan.

The directive states that personnel authorized to carry privately owned firearms must "acknowledge they may be personally liable for the injuries, death, and property damage proximately caused by negligence in connection with the possession or use of privately owned firearms that are not within the scope of their federal employment."

The eligibility requirements also state that applicants should not be subject to past or pending disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or in any civilian criminal cases.

Personnel carrying firearms "will not be under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance that would cause drowsiness or impair their judgment while carrying a firearm," the document states.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at [email protected].
 

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