November 22, 2016
Written by Lorra B.
A Defense Department directive was approved on Nov. 18 allowing U.S. military members to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities.
The directive was approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work and is a blue print for the policy that allows “DoD personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties,” reports Military.com.
The policy, however, allows “soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property, according to the document.”
As part of their job requirements, service members already are permitted to carry weapons but the new policy allows them to carry their personally owned guns.
According to the directive this move is “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties.”
Maj. Jamie Davis, a DoD spokesperson, stated, ““Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters. 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 order to qualify to carry a concealed weapon on DoD property the applicant must have a valid license to carry and be 21 years of age.
The document states, “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..”
Not everyone is happy about this new concealed carry policy. Arguing against the new policy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stating that during shootings such at the Nov. 5, 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, police were on the scene and had it secured in a very short time. Milley is not convinced that soldiers being armed would have stopped Nidal Hasan from killing 13 people and injuring 42.
Lawmakers, however, disagree and have questioned whether military members might have been able to stop Hasan, and other previous military shootings, had they been armed.
After an argument in April, 2014, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez went on a killing spree at Fort Hood killing three soldiers and wounding 12 others.
July 16, 2015, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, killed four Marines and a sailor at two military bases in Chattanooga before being shot to death by police.
Any service member who is authorized to carry a privately-owned gun will “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 document states.
Perhaps loss of life will be kept to a minimum the next time a terrorist decides to open fire on DoD property.
Written by Lorra B.