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The End of Gun-Free Zones on Military Bases

In late November, the Department of Defense released detailed guidelines to allow U.S. military personnel to carry their personal concealed firearms on military bases.

This 26-page document does the following:
• Establishes policy and standards and assigns responsibilities for arming, carrying of firearms, and the use of force by DoD personnel performing security and protection, law and order, investigative, or counterintelligence duties; and for personal protection when related to the performance of official duties.

• Establishes policy and standards and assigns responsibilities for contractor personnel required to carry a firearm in accordance with applicable DoD contracts.

• Implements Section 1585 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), which authorizes civilian officers and employees of the DoD to carry firearms or other appropriate weapons while assigned investigative duties or such other duties as prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

• Provides requirements, authorizations, and restrictions on carrying firearms and the use of force to protect DoD installations, property, and personnel, and to enforce law and order in accordance with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5200.08 and DoD 5200.08-R.

• Implements Section 2672 of Title 10, U.S.C., Section 926A of Title 18, U.S.C., and Section 526 of Public Law 114-92 (“the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016”), and authorizes DoD Components to arm DoD personnel qualified under Sections 926B and 926C of Title 18, U.S.C., when related to the performance of official duties. DoDD 5210.56, November 18, 2016

• Provides guidance for permitting the carrying of privately owned firearms on DoD property by DoD personnel for personal protection purposes that are not associated with the performance of official duties.

Until now, Department of Defense personnel have not been allowed to carry personal firearms on military bases. but after a few active shooter situations on military bases in recent months, like the Chattanooga, Tennessee shootings in July 2015, people’s opinions about that started to change.

The Army’s Chief of Staff General Mark Milley doesn’t want this change though, and has argued against it. He testified in front of Congress earlier this year that he fears more mass shootings like the one in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 42 others wounded. The shooter in that situation walked into Fort Hood with two pistols and began shouting in Arabic about God before opening fire. We believe that when more trained, qualified, sober and responsible people are carrying guns, that they can prevent things like this from happening. What do you believe? Pretty sure I know, but tell me anyway.

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