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Thread: Carrying on Military bases. Help Please

  1. #1
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    Carrying on Military bases. Help Please

    So I'm not really sure which way to turn my head for this question anymore. I've heard that it varies from base to base, I've heard that bases are Federal Property, and therefore 100% illegal to have a firearm of any sort on you, even if it's locked in a gun case in your vehicle. Etc..etc..


    My wife is military, I'm civilian. Here are the examples:

    1) Wife has to go to army reserve center for her monthly weekend time. She leaves the house carrying. She arrives at the gates to the reserve center. NOW WHAT???

    2) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) We/she/I leave the house for vacation and decide to stop at a army base to get a room for the night. We pull up to the gates at a army base. NOW WHAT???

    3) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) leaves the house to travel to a army base out of state for week or more for army duties (or to stay the night). She leaves the house carrying (according to laws of each state she/I may travel in), and now arrives at the gates of a army base in a different state. NOW WHAT???





    1)Are the rules the same for both of us, or are there 2 different set of rules for military and civilian???

    2)What are the rules regarding carrying (OC, CC or transporting in vehicle) on an army base???

    3)Is there a general rule for all military bases, or do they all vary???

    4)Are the rules the same whether in uniform or out of uniform (such as if she was there on business, or just passing through while on vacation)???

    5)If it turns out that it is illegal to carry on base, then how do you carry from your house to the base, without bringing it onto the base when you get there??? or do you just have to go unarmed on days that you have military duty???

    And of course, can you post links or statues to back up what you are saying. I have been hearing so many different opinions on what is or isn't legal regarding this, that I can't make sense of it anymore, and haven't been able to find any concrete information regarding military bases (or I can't remember because it left my head with all the smoke from researching stuff).

    Thanks

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    Personally-owned firearms policy is typically set by the post commander. Your wife should check with the PMO to find out her post's firearms policies. Unless she's still in basic training, however, she ought to already know that.

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    On-base carry is set by installation commander. That said, I'm yet to go to a base that allowed on-base carry and on personal firearms have been banned unless you either live on base (at which point it is supposed to be in a case and locked when transporting it), or you're on one of the few bases that allow hunting (still have the same rules on transporting it). And really, the only base that I know of that allows hunting on base was LRAFB and its been so long since I've been there that I don't know if you can even do that there anymore.

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    There are bases thst still allow people to come and hunt on base Fort McCoy in Wis. is one of them
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    She should be able to transport the unloaded firearm to the armory as long as she notifies the gate personal.

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    This is how we do it in Idaho
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    A comprehensive answer would require researching the policies of every military base, so I will not even attempt that.

    In response to the specific questions you pose:

    1) Wife has to go to army reserve center for her monthly weekend time. She leaves the house carrying. She arrives at the gates to the reserve center. NOW WHAT???
    A) Does her reserve center allow transport/carry of personally owned firearms? B) Has she complied with all requirements of the base for permission to transport/carry personally owned firearms on base? C)Is she transporting/carrying in compliance with those requirements?

    2) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) We/she/I leave the house for vacation and decide to stop at a army base to get a room for the night. We pull up to the gates at a army base. NOW WHAT???
    A) Notify the guard at the gate that she is 1) military, 2) has personally owned firearms in the vehicle, and 3) ask what procedures must be fiollowed to bring them on base. B) Be prepared to go look for a motel room off base.

    3) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) leaves the house to travel to a army base out of state for week or more for army duties (or to stay the night). She leaves the house carrying (according to laws of each state she/I may travel in), and now arrives at the gates of a army base in a different state.
    Regarding your wife: A) Contact the destination base in advance to find out the policy/procedure for bringing personally owned firearms onto base. B) Comply with all requirements. C) Be prepared to either store personally owned firearms off-base or not bring them. D) Be exceedingly grateful if there is a provision for storing personally owned firearms at the armory/arms room.

    Regarding you: A) Contact the destination base in advance to find out the policy/procedure for bringing personally owned firearms onto base. B) Comply with all requirements. C) Be prepared to either store personally owned firearms off-base or not bring them. D) Be prepared to find alternate lodging.

    Hope this helps, even if it does not make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Be prepared to either store personally owned firearms off-base
    Thanks for the reply, that was (along with others above) a good and sensible answer, even though nothing backed in writing (other than iowa). But I will try to contact said bases and see what I come up with.


    I do have to ask about the part that I quoted, because it caused a very large brain fart in me. How/Where exactly would I go about storing my firearms off-base when I'm nowhere near home??? say several states away???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    There are bases thst still allow people to come and hunt on base Fort McCoy in Wis. is one of them
    correct on Fort McCoy. I believe it's even listed under hunting regs in the DNR rules and regs booklet.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    Thanks for the reply, that was (along with others above) a good and sensible answer, even though nothing backed in writing (other than iowa). But I will try to contact said bases and see what I come up with.


    I do have to ask about the part that I quoted, because it caused a very large brain fart in me. How/Where exactly would I go about storing my firearms off-base when I'm nowhere near home??? say several states away???
    Don't take them to a police dept for storage. Possibly a gun shop, if you belong to a national health club you could use a locker maybe?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    ..... How/Where exactly would I go about storing my firearms off-base when I'm nowhere near home??? say several states away???
    Safest, cheapest solution? Pawn them. Ask for as little as possible so you are only paying a small amount to get them back.

    Or were you looking for a way to come off base, arm yourself for a while, and then disarm and store them again wile yu return to base? Rent a storage space and purchase insurance and a decent lock. If there is not at least one 24-hour self-storage place within a mile of the gates of a military base there is something terribly wrong with the world. If the storage facility is properly operated, be prepared by Day 4 or so for the cops to meet you and inquire what you are taking in and out - your actions will fit the profile of drug trafficing and the operator will want to protect themself from being an accomplice.

    Nobody said this was simple or easy.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Safest, cheapest solution? Pawn them. Ask for as little as possible so you are only paying a small amount to get them back.

    Or were you looking for a way to come off base, arm yourself for a while, and then disarm and store them again wile yu return to base? Rent a storage space and purchase insurance and a decent lock. If there is not at least one 24-hour self-storage place within a mile of the gates of a military base there is something terribly wrong with the world. If the storage facility is properly operated, be prepared by Day 4 or so for the cops to meet you and inquire what you are taking in and out - your actions will fit the profile of drug trafficing and the operator will want to protect themself from being an accomplice.

    Nobody said this was simple or easy.

    stay safe.
    They should be able to buy a week or month membership at a health club, they all have lockers. There are usually several outside of bases. Then they get the added benefit of working out.

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    I checked in with the Chief of Security at my local ANG base and was told to simply inform the gate guards that I have a firearm (unloaded) and to leave it in the car while shopping, visiting old mates, etc.

    He should probably tell his GGs about that ruling. The last time I was there I gave the "your Chief said to tell you..." schpiel. His reply, "the Chief said...? OK"

    Check with the MP/Security big dawg NCOIC to get the skinny. Or maybe just keep em outta site and go about your business.
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    Regular Member ncwabbit's Avatar
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    i recommend you check out title 18, chapter 44, § 930 covers it quite clearly. yet not sure of AFIs on resource protection?? Army 190-11 para 4-5 is quite specific.

    wabbit

    ps: thanks for your service mates

    pss: do your own research on AFI/AM etc and do not ask base personnel as they are only going to tell you what they were told. if you go in stating: "AFI xxx states this..." what are they going to say?
    Last edited by ncwabbit; 08-23-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    Thanks for the reply, that was (along with others above) a good and sensible answer, even though nothing backed in writing (other than iowa). But I will try to contact said bases and see what I come up with.


    I do have to ask about the part that I quoted, because it caused a very large brain fart in me. How/Where exactly would I go about storing my firearms off-base when I'm nowhere near home??? say several states away???
    I can't get you something in writing for Tinker given that I'm currently not there and thus can't check the sign at the gate. But the gate will have a posted sign and it refers to a law from I THINK 1959, but I could be wrong.

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    Regular Member ncwabbit's Avatar
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    Thanks for your clarification Commander, however I am a bit confused over the section:
    (d)(3)the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.

    Whenever I have been involved in resource protection, the entire installation under discussion was referred to as a ‘facility.’ However, throughout the USC the language uses facility or reservation or base or post interchangeably mainly I am sure depending on the service writing the document. I am beginning to believe the specific language is contained in DoD 5xxx guidance.

    additionally, researching USCs there are a myriad of examples of firearm usage based on specific locations, e.g., 10 USC Sec. 2671 Military reservations and facilities: hunting, fishing, and trapping, but i am unable to discern specific facility entry protocols from the document.

    again IMO AFIs, A/N guidance as supplemented by local installation guidance be checked as they will provide you with your specific guidance.

    wabbit
    But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most...
    A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race...
    All religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. (twain)

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    Air Force or Army bases you must warn and advise the base MP's that you have a firearm with you. Guaranteed that you will not be able to freely carrying around your firearm on a military installation. I have tried this before and after I left the Air Force, they are very strict. Even if there is something that generally sounds it okay, I can almost guaranteed they wont let you. Most of the time they want you to check in the firearm to the armory.

    I would also advise against not telling them as if they go under and start searching vehicles entering and exiting the base and find the gun, they will get angry as hell about it.
    Last edited by DWCook; 08-23-2012 at 07:27 PM.
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    Regular Member ncwabbit's Avatar
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    Angry...that is an understatement...cranky as hell - whew!! however, in the days prior to active terrorist issues the SPs i knew regaled in doing the searches as it broke up the boredom...

    wabbit
    But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most...
    A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race...
    All religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. (twain)

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    1)Are the rules the same for both of us, or are there 2 different set of rules for military and civilian???
    The good news is that the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act Section 1062 prohibits commanders from doing many of the more onerous things they used to:

    (a) In General- Except as provided in subsection (c), the Secretary of Defense shall not prohibit, issue
    any requirement relating to, or collect or record any information relating to the otherwise lawful
    acquisition, possession, ownership, carrying, or other use of a privately owned firearm, privately
    owned ammunition, or another privately owned weapon by a member of the Armed Forces or civilian
    employee of the Department of Defense on property that is not--
    (1) a military installation; or
    (2) any other property that is owned or operated by the Department of Defense…
    So, for example, it would appear to be inappropriate and impermissible for a commander to forbid your wife from carrying a firearm off base. US Army Alaska used to have a policy prohibiting soldiers off-duty and off-post from concealed carrying but had to rescind it based on the 2011 NDAA. It would also be impermissible for a commander to enforce a policy that, say, required her to register your off-post firearms (yes, some commanders were coming up with rules that imposed burdens on non-military dependents...).

    Your wife may or may not be granted special privileges based on her job. For example, if she is a special agent (NCIS, OSI, etc) then she may be issued a duty weapon and concealed weapons permit for the base. THat is probably not the case, however.

    Otherwise both of you are subject to federal law on the issue. THe consequences for you (based on the code cited in the next section), assuming you do not enter any federal building, appear to be limited to a ban from entering the base (based on the CC's discretion with some due process) plus six months in jail if convicted. Your wife may be subject to additional regulations or penalties under the UCMJ. Commanders have broad discretion to regulate the behavior and activity of their troops on and off duty, so I'd imagine that she could be looking at NJP (i.e. an Article 15) or worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    2)What are the rules regarding carrying (OC, CC or transporting in vehicle) on an army base???
    In general, possessing a firearm on a federal military base is PROHIBITED unless permitted. THere are two bits of USC that seem relevant:
    18 USC § 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities. THis one is a felony charge, but appears to only apply to buildings (not, say, the parking lot).

    18 USC § 1382 - Entering military, naval, or Coast Guard property. THis is a misdemeanor and prohibits entering a base in a manner not permitted by regulations.

    Army Reg 190-11 section 4-5 establishes a broad Army policy that requires commanders to come up with their own local guidance. The local guidance must at a minimum include weapons registration, a general ban on carrying weapons unless specifically authorized by the commander, require safe storage, and a few other things.

    Finally, you'd have to drill down to your local base policy, which is sometimes hard to get.

    Most bases have signs posted that say that persons and property entering the base are subject to search at any time. So it appears that you may lose some 4A protections by entering base as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    3)Is there a general rule for all military bases, or do they all vary???
    Post Ft Hood, DoD was looking to create uniform regulations for bases. The NDAA of 2011 gutted many of the key ideas that seemed to be throw about and I haven't seen anything materialize. I have not seen any actual DoD-wide provisions, so you'd be left with the service and base specific guidance.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    4)Are the rules the same whether in uniform or out of uniform (such as if she was there on business, or just passing through while on vacation)???
    Depends on her service's and commander's policies. I know the Air Force has an AFI that prohibits members from carrying a weapon in uniform unless it is issued and authorized (example, MPs/SFS, deployed, etc). I suspect the Army does as well. I guess I can see this from a PA point of view; imagine the uproar in some areas if armed, uniformed military were roaming ("patrolling") US streets, eh? The NDAA 2011 would appear to prevent commanders from making rules that govern her off-base, off-duty, out of uniform, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    5)If it turns out that it is illegal to carry on base, then how do you carry from your house to the base, without bringing it onto the base when you get there??? or do you just have to go unarmed on days that you have military duty???
    Depends on your local base commander's policy. Most bases I have seen allow you to transport a firearm in some prescribed manner (usually in an enclosed container in the trunk/luggage compartment separate from the ammo and inaccessible to passengers) from the gate to an authorized destination. Authorized destinations usually include base housing (if you are a resident of base housing), the skeet/rifle range, and maybe hunting areas. Some bases allow transport to the armory or unit arms room as well for courtesy storage; this privilege may or may not be limited to folks who are TDY or staying in base lodging.

    Many bases forbid any stops between the gate and the authorized destination. Some allow a short stop at, for example, the shopette for gas or a soda. I have never seen a base that allows weapons to be stored in a POV for the entire duty day.

    What you might be gathering at this point is that you are probably out of luck. People who work on bases are often not able to carry to and from work and just go unarmed. You may want to look into base policy on non-lethals (pepper spray/tasers).

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    1) Wife has to go to army reserve center for her monthly weekend time. She leaves the house carrying. She arrives at the gates to the reserve center. NOW WHAT???
    1) Her base commander has specifically authorized her in writing IAW Army policy to bear arms on the installation. She goes about her business.
    2) Her base commander has authorized her to store her registered weapon in a armory or other designated location. SHe transports and secures her weapon IAW the policy and goes about her business.
    3) Her base commander has not authorized her to store the weapon and she is not traveling to an authorized destination (skeet range, quarters on base, etc). She either leaves the weapon outside the gate or risks violating federal law and getting an Article 15.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    2) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) We/she/I leave the house for vacation and decide to stop at a army base to get a room for the night. We pull up to the gates at a army base. NOW WHAT???
    I am assuming you have not pre-coordinated with the base. In this case, you would be best served to declare that you have a privately owned firearm at the gate and ask for directions. Be prepared for shenanigans (the gate guards probably don't know the policy themselves). Best case -- you travel to the armory, register the weapon, check it in for the night, and get it in the morning. Realistically, be prepared to go get a motel off base.

    Alternatively, you sneak onto base and risk an Article 15 (her), violation of US code (both of you; felony if you carry into the lodging building), and being banned from the base (you).

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    3) Wife and I (or either of us by ourself) leaves the house to travel to a army base out of state for week or more for army duties (or to stay the night). She leaves the house carrying (according to laws of each state she/I may travel in), and now arrives at the gates of a army base in a different state. NOW WHAT???
    Same as above scenarios, assuming you are legal to carry in both states. Many bases have concurrent jurisdiction with the locals, meaning you have to comply with all the base/federal rules as well as the state rules.
    Last edited by armaborealis; 08-24-2012 at 03:09 AM.

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