Military policy on weapons explained

July 31, 2013

In response to Tim Hughes and John Kight (gun law enforcement debate), military personnel are not allowed to carry weapons “in garrison” on military bases. I know, because I spent 11 years at Fort Drum, N.Y., and even had a New York State concealed carry permit. This prohibition was imposed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

Since I lived on Post, I was required to register my firearms. The issue at hand is, should troops be required to register their weapons if they live off base. Using Fort Hood as an example, are you really suggesting that the jihadist who lived off-Post, had legally purchased his firearms, would not have jumped up and yelled “allahu akbar” and begun his suicide mission if his guns were registered? I cannot imagine the fantasy world someone must live in to believe that.

If you recall, it was two civilian police officers who stopped the murder, since the Department of Defense has contracted out most base security. The number killed was 14.

So-called “gun-free” zones are mass murder magnets.

I also share Mr. Kight’s anger that we are still unwilling to do what is necessary to stop the next inevitable school shooting. What will be our excuse then?

William J. Lee
Rockton, Ill.

From the July 31-Aug. 6, 2013, issue

One Comment

  1. R. BURKE

    August 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    This did not start with Clinton. I did 15 years between 1974 and 1989 at many posts and we were NEVER allowed to carry on post. If you lived in the barracks your gun stayed locked in the arms room the same as the service weapons. It could only be removed with written approval from the unit commander which meant you could take it to the range or hunting but it went straight back to the arms room when done ( and good luck finding an armorer to open it on the weekend). Those living in family quarters could usually keep firearms there but the same restrictions on carrying.

    The “good old days” when they kept the squad’s weapons in a rifle rack in the barracks squad bays were long gone by 1974. All weapons had to kept in a fortified, alarmed arms room; even had to store my bow and arrows there. And yes, all firearms kept on post (in family quarters or barracks) had to be registered with the MP and at some installations even those kept at off post residences.

    All this was in effect at least 20 years before Clinton came on the scene.

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