The Department of Defense has unveiled detailed plans that would allow qualified US military personnel to carry personal concealed weapons and -if needed- deploy deadly force while performing official duties.
Titled “Arming and the Use of Force,” the DoD directive (which was approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work) lays out the conditions, requirements and extensive procedures that, when met, would allow troops to carry while at work or on DoD property.
In addition to allowing duty-related carry, the document says military leadership at a minimum rank of O-5 “may 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.”
However, not just anyone can carry, and not just anyone will be granted permission.
Applicants must be over 21 years of age, legally allowed to possess a firearm and be in possession of concealed carry permit recognized by the federal, state or host-nation where the servicemember and property is located.
Even after receiving written permission, the document states the sign-off may only “be valid for 90 days or as long as the DoD Component deems appropriate and will include information necessary to facilitate the carrying of the firearm on DoD property consistent with safety and security, such as the individual’s name, duration of the permission to carry, type of firearm, etc.”
In regards to liabilities, all authorized personnel are required to “acknowledge they may be personally liable for the injuries, death, and property damage proximately caused by negligence in connection with the possession or use of privately owned firearms that are not within the scope of their federal employment.”
The directive also mentions that applicants should not be subject to past, pending or present disciplinary action under both civilian criminal cases and those of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, nor can they “be under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance that would cause drowsiness or impair their judgment while carrying a firearm.”
In short, the individual and his or her sidearm will be well-documented, supervised and held accountable for the added responsibilities (and liabilities) that come with carrying a firearm.
It is unlikely that service members members will be allowed to conceal carry for the purpose of personal protection within any buildings on DoD property.
“Requests to carry privately owned firearms for personal protection purposes not related to the performance of official duties within buildings on DoD property may not be granted unless the arming authority makes a determination, after consultation with servicing legal counsel and in accordance with applicable DoD policy,” says the document.
Effectively easing restrictions on a no-carry ban initiated in the early 1990s, the new move from DoD follows a push within and outside the military to arm servicemembers after a series of terrorist attacks on military personnel in and around DoD facilities, ranging from the 2009 Fort Hood Shooting by Major Nidal Hasan to the 2015 attack on a Tennessee recruiting center by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
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