U.S. service members and recruiters can now request to carry privately owned, concealed, handguns while on Department of Defense property. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel will be permitted to carry firearms and use deadly force while performing official duties. The Pentagon has released detailed guidance that outlines when, where, and who is eligible to carry in response to attacks being carried out against unarmed service members while on duty.
Commanders, ranked O-5 and above, will be able to:
“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,”
Applicants must be at least 21 years old and comply with all state, federal, and local laws where the DoD facility is located. Service members that have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice or have pending civilian charges will not be eligible. Service members that are granted the ability to carry must renew the authorization every 90 days.
The directive states that armed service members must acknowledge that they are personally liable for any injuries or deaths that may be caused by negligent use or possession of a firearm while on base. Lawmakers hope that allowing service members to carry will prevent active-shooter situations similar to the attacks like the July 16 Chattanooga, Tennessee shooting that killed four Marines and one Sailor.