Gun Policy Changes at Marine Bases, Offutt Air Base
There are gun policy changes that took effect January 2. On Dec 30, Offutt Air Base posted on Facebook that they will no longer allow privately owned firearms to be transported on base. The move sparked controversy. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps went the opposite direction, allowing off-duty law enforcement personnel to transport privately owned weapons on base.
Offutt Air Force Base
The base commander posted the following on December 30:
“POLICY CHANGE: Beginning Jan. 2, 2020, the 55th Wing commander has directed that the transportation of privately owned firearms (POF) on Offutt Air Force Base, with few exceptions, will be prohibited.
The current policy, which authorizes registered Department of Defense ID card holders with a Nebraska Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and holders of reciprocating state concealed carry license (CCL), to transport and secure privately-owned handguns in privately-owned vehicles within the base, will no longer be valid. This policy change comes as a result of the commander’s initial review of the Offutt AFB Integrated Defense and Antiterrorism Plan, a requirement to be completed within 120 days of assuming command.
The commander’s intent for this change is that firearms will be effectively controlled and safely handled on Offutt AFB and is reflective of the full confidence in the 55th Security Forces Squadron’s ability to defend the installation and its personnel. By making this change Offutt will exceed requirements outlined in DoD Instruction 5210.56 and Air Force Instruction 31-101.”
Reaction was swift and negative, for the most part. KETV reported on some of the comments,
“This is craziness. Are you going to pat down and car search every person who comes on base? ‘Cause the wrong person can bring a gun anyway and now a smaller portion of the good guys can defend themselves. Thanks a lot!”
“So the people who live on base can’t conceal carry ever then? How are they going to get their privately owned weapon from their house, to off base where they can legally carry it?”
“My husband is active duty and we live a good twenty minutes from the base. This highly discourages me from wanting to attend any base events or work functions for my husband. I cannot believe I have to leave my firearm at home. I am unprotected from the time I travel to and from the base. The idea of it makes me feel exposed. I do not leave without it. I feel obligated to give myself that chance to protect my family.”
The policy that allowed transportation of privately owned firearms had only been in place for about a year.
The Marines- a gun policy change that is working to create concealed carry rules
Stars & Stripes reported:
“Civilians and Marines credentialed under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act may carry their own firearms for personal protection but cannot use them while on duty, a service memo issued Tuesday said.
On Dec. 4, a sailor fatally shot two men and injured another before killing himself at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Two days later, a Saudi air force officer in training shot and killed three sailors before he was killed by police officers at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
“These tragic events prompted Headquarters Marine Corps to accelerate existing efforts to develop concealed carry policies” aligned with a May memo on the use of force signed by Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly, the Marine Corps memo said.
Off-duty law enforcement officers remain prohibited from carrying weapons in Defense Department schools under federal law and in base courthouses unless authorized by a military judge, the memo said.”
In other words, USMC is working to create concealed carry policies and promises more changes in the future. The Offutt Base commander has shown no signs of changing his mind on the issue.
It’s still sad to see that military personnel can’t use their own weapons to fend off attacks. But maybe there is hope.
Featured photo: Offutt AFB, via Omaha.com