Trump hints at allowing more troops to carry personal weapons on military bases

| February 24, 2018 | 42 Comments

Defender

Navy Times reports President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would re-examine federal policies restricting troops from carrying private firearms on military bases, calling it an important safety issue.

Defense Department leaders have in the past resisted changes to those firearms policies due to concerns that it could lead to more accidental shootings and successful suicides.

Comments from the Commander in Chief came during a speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, while he was talking about possible solutions to gun violence in America.

“We’re going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone,” he said. “If we can’t have our military holding guns, it’s pretty bad.

“We had a number of instances on military bases, you know that. So we want to protect our military. We want to make our military stronger and better than it’s ever been before.”

Trump specifically referenced the July 2015 shooting spree at a pair of military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which a gunman killed four Marines and a sailor in a series of ambushes. The attacker was later killed in a firefight with police.

“They were on a military base in a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “They were asked to check their guns quite far away, and a maniac walked in, guns blazing, killed all five of them. He wouldn’t have had a chance if these world-class marksmen had, on a military base, access to their guns.”

Reports following the deaths of the service members found that at least two military personnel on scene were carrying personal firearms when they were attacked — possibly in violation of base rules — and unsuccessfully returned fire in an effort to stop the gunman.

The incident prompted a review of military policies regarding privately owned firearms, after lawmakers argued that the attack could have been stopped sooner if more servicemembers had the ability to fire back.

More than a year later, the Defense Department issued new regulations regarding those weapons, allowing commanders to grant permission to certain troops.

But top Pentagon officials and base commanders also expressed concerns about a new influx of private weapons on base, saying it could lead to confusion over official duties, accidental shootings and an increase in suicides among struggling service members.

I’m not sure what sort of official duty confusion there may be- you’re either on duty or not. If by accidental shootings they mean negligent discharge, that’s a training issue and I’d expect a screening process for those who wish to carry on base. Suicides will find a way with or without a firearm; sounds cold but its true. My daily commute is through a sketchy part of town; OK during the day but not safe after dark, and I would like to practice my rights under the Constitution while on base.

Category: Guns

Comments (42)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. OWB says:

    Would hope that they include retired military members in the discussion. Perhaps not in the initial phase, but somewhere along the line. Too many retirees are faced with the decision to either violate the rules on base or be unarmed while in transit to their annual trip to the commissary.

    • PJS says:

      “Annual trip”, man I’d sure hate to be behind you in the checkout line! LOL!
      p.s. we make it quarterly, which is bad enough!

      • OWB says:

        Not me. It’s probably been 15 years since I’ve been in a commissary. 🙂

        (Am hoping that the use of these smilie thingies is just a phase which passes quickly.)

        • (not that) Mike says:

          Lance Armstrong, despite the doping (and the fact that cycling as a sport = who gives a damn), once said, “no grown man should ever use emoticons.”

          This will always endear him to me.

          • 2/17 Air Cav says:

            He said nothing about a woman using them, did he? OWB is a woman. You are THAT Mike.

          • Alex Voog says:

            The “doping” advantage is but a small percentage of the actual ability, not to mention WINNING, of riding/completing the Tour de France. I raced many years and can attest that his historic acheivements of that many top step of the Parisian Podium was no fluke,accident, nor did doping be the reason he stood there. He Still had to pedal his ass off, beat 200 other amazing riders, year after year. Yeah, they MAY HAVE cut a few corners, BUT, they were NEVER, EVER, caught in competition by any ,nor all the testing they endured. His trophys may be “tarnished” to a degree, but all his and his teammates sweat equity polish that minor dulling of their VICTORIES away. Go ahead …TRY and ride even ONE- one those mountains, never mind RACE UP IT, and then, THEN come talk to me. Le Maillot Jaune was WON by Lance and his Team SEVEN TIMES— SEVEN !!!!

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              The difference between first and second can be fractions of a second. If one competitor plays by the rules, and the other does not, then the difference is easily the dope, not the dude.

              Cheating at contests of sport must be sanctioned, or the rules are meaningless. Some jack-wagon will put electric motors in his Tour bike.

              Or “Juice” his own performance.

              Would he have bothered with the gimmick if he thought he could win without it?

              Because now he didn’t actually win. All that hard work, all that effort, pissed away becasue he wanted to cheat. He didn’t cross the line first. The “juice” did.

              Or he would not have done it.

    • desert says:

      Hell if they want to commit suicide, they don’t need a gun, razor blades to the wrists will work, so will an exhaust tube through the window of a vehicle…..narrow between the eyes leadership…no commonsense!

    • VPNFO says:

      Whatever, carry your gun if you want, just for the love of God, don’t try to come on base between 7 and 9 to do your shopping! Gate traffic is bad enough with people trying to get to work without adding in retirees who don’t have their ID ready or who want to tell the gate guard their life story….

  2. RCAF-CHAIRBORNE says:

    Whoah……just as long as the troops arent allowed to carry evil, scary AR-pattern guns 😝

  3. Mick says:

    ‘“We’re going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone,” he said. “If we can’t have our military holding guns, it’s pretty bad.’

    Shack!

    The only time that I don’t have my sidearm with me is when I’m on a military base.

    I have yet to figure out what magical transformation takes place whenever I drive through a base gate that instantly makes me irresponsible, reckless, and not to be trusted to carry a firearm while on base. It’s quite mystifying.

    Hopefully, now that the adults are in charge, this stupid ‘no weapons’ policy will be rescinded ASAP.

  4. CPT11A says:

    A few years ago, when I was still on AD, a soldier showed up at the flag poles outside DIV HQ and shot himself in the head. “Gun-free zone” didn’t mean much to soldier who wanted his last act to be a big FU to the post honchos.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    It’s nice that someone isn’t waiting for the next major incident to consider this.

  6. Mason says:

    With how some of my zoomie bretheren shoot, I’d demand a lot of training before they allow it on an AFB. I was an engineer, so we qual’d annually. At the time, the majority of the force qual’d every three years.

    If they’re serious, they should just have people carry their issued gun on base. Wouldn’t need to be everyone. Come to work and you’re on the list of volunteers, you go to the armory and check your weapon out. If we want them to be responsible for base defense, then lets give them the tools.

  7. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I believe it was bill clinton that put the Kabash on carrying firearms on a Military base. I remember when we were tied up at a Liberty port pier, I stood watch on the pier in front of the forward brow with an empty M1 Carbine. Looked great with the web belt and empty mag pouch.

    • Reddevil says:

      You are confusing being at an armed post with being armed while off duty.

      Army installations have, in addition to the MPs and civilian police force, a large guard force that includes Ammo Supply Point Guards, Deploy,met Ready Area Guards, and whatever else is necessary. All told, this can add up to a rifle company worth of armed troops at any given time, between those on post, those resting in the Giard Room, and those on QRF.

      Joe, off duty, walking from the chow hall to the PX to buy porn, tobacco, and alcohol (add caffeine and you have all four food groups), is not armed, for good reason.

      • OWB says:

        What Jeff is talking about is the years when the official cop force could also not have ammo and stood watch with empty weapons.

        Yes, Jeff, I remember those days as well. It was also under Clinton that there was almost no ammo on my base and nobody qual’d because we didn’t have ammo for it. We managed to scrape together enough to keep some of the cops qual’d and not even all of them.

  8. Gman992 says:

    Remember when Major Hassan was the only one who carried on base and killed all of his “fellow” servicemen in a terrorist…ah…I mean “workplace violence” incident?

    • Reddevil says:

      Not really true. There are plenty of armed troops on post. Most troops are not allowed to be armed when off duty, but a post commander could change that with VOCO, directing Post Guard to have armed posts at various locations.

      Lots to consider in that decision…

  9. 26Limabeans says:

    When I was a naive kid I thought anyone wearing a uniform was packing. Soldier, mailman, milkman, city workers, Fuller Brush guy. Kept me in line.

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Fuller Brush guy.” That’s a scream. Did you have the roving Italian fellow (non Italians weren’t allowed to that work, I guess) who sharpened kitchen knives and fabric scissors too?

  11. Cummins says:

    2/17 Air Cav
    I remember the same guy, not sure of nationality, Sharpened knives, scissors, took your old rags, newspapers AND sold clothes line.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    I do not recall ever seeing anyone at NAS Anacostia/NPC/Bolling AFB at any gate wearing a holstered gun of any kind. There was also a shooting range at Bolling. That appears to be gone now.

    My, how times have changed. Maybe people were just too nice and polite back in them there Good Ol’ Days, or something.

  13. Sparks says:

    And the gun grabbers say, “Only the police and the military need guns! Well, except on base to, you know, defend themselves. Then uh, no, they can’t have them either.”

    I can hear it now.

  14. Top W Kone says:

    The base I’m on now won’t even let you keep firearms in your quarters. You have to rent a storage locker at the rod and gun club just to have them “near by”.

    Unofficially it is part of the effort to get Soldiers to chose to live off post.

  15. Bill R. says:

    I live near Selfridge ANGB, Mi. There is a sign at the front gate stating that CPL holders may carry on the base and that areas where that is not authorized are marked. I’m guessing certain buildings, the flight line and maybe the bomb dump are off limits although I don’t know for sure. Those areas always have a cop or three around anyway.

  16. Duane says:

    I spent 27 years working at Fairchild AFB – the building I started my full time ANG career in was less than 1/4 mile from the base hospital where Dean Mellberg went nuts at (we were outside working when it happened). I know a lot of people that wanted to be allowed to carry on base afterwards, and my thoughts were if we want to carry, have us show that we are members of someplace where we can legally go practice. I don’t think anyone is saying arm everyone on base, but as long as they are able to show proof that they know which end is which and are viewed as responsible, allow it. Only allowing a select few is no better than allowing only the Security Forces to be armed – it’s impossible for them to be everywhere. I have been a CPL holder since I became of legal age back in 1981, and it has always irked me that I had to leave my weapon at home to go to work because the base didn’t allow it. So glad to be retired now, but still irked that I’m not allowed to have my weapon with me all the time if we go out to the base.

  17. FatCircles0311 says:

    Most US military officers care nothing for troop safety but rather don’t trust and/or are scared of the troops they command. That is why they oppose arming their troops.

  18. Alex Voog says:

    The “doping” advantage is but a small percentage of the actual ability, not to mention WINNING, of riding/completing the Tour de France. I raced many years and can attest that his historic acheivements of that many top step of the Parisian Podium was no fluke,accident, nor did doping be the reason he stood there. He Still had to pedal his ass off, beat 200 other amazing riders, year after year. Yeah, they MAY HAVE cut a few corners, BUT, they were NEVER, EVER, caught in competition by any ,nor all the testing they endured. His trophys may be “tarnished” to a degree, but all his and his teammates sweat equity polish that minor dulling of their VICTORIES away. Go ahead …TRY and ride even ONE- one those mountains, never mind RACE UP IT, and then, THEN come talk to me. Le Maillot Jaune was WON by Lance and his Team SEVEN TIMES— SEVEN !!!!

  19. Alex Voog says:

    Sorry, double post above. No way to delete it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *