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Pentagon’s Policy On Tracking Troops’ Personal Weapons: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
U.S. troops are allowed to carry personal weapons for their protection on stateside military facilities, but the Defense Department has no idea how many service members are actually packing.
The issue of whether service members should be allowed to bring their personal weapons onto military bases came up during President Trump’s Feb. 23 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he cited the July 2015 attacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that killed four Marines and a sailor as a reason why more troops should be armed.
“We’re going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone,” Trump said. “If we can’t have our military holding guns, it’s pretty bad. We had a number of instances on military bases. You know that. So we want to protect our military.”
So far, the Defense Department has not been told to make any changes to its policy that allows troops to carry concealed weapons if they meet all federal, state, and local laws and other eligibility requirements, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The policy does not apply to troops overseas.
When that policy went into effect in November 2016, it clarified how commanders at individual military installations can allow their troops to carry privately owned firearms – whether concealed or open carry – for self-protection, Davis told Task & Purpose.
Those commanders are not required to tell the Pentagon which of their troops have permission to bring personal weapons on base, said Davis, who is not aware of any plans to create a federal database of personnel who carry privately owned weapons on military facilities.
“Since it’s done at the local level, it’s not being tracked by DoD,” Davis said. “The local installations keep track of that.”
Having the Defense Department keep track of how many troops carry their personal weapons on bases for protection would require the Pentagon to compile information from local commanders and verify its accuracy, he said.
Davis also emphasized that commanders do not give troops permission to carry their privately owned firearms on base indefinitely.
“Written permission will 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,” the policy says.
So while President Trump wants to ensure all service members can protect themselves from terrorists, it appears that no one in the Pentagon will know for the foreseeable future how many troops have applied for and been granted permission to bring their guns to work.
An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a deployment in Afghanistan that earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star.
As a result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the mental condition.
He admitted Wednesday, however, that all of that was a lie.
He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered PTSD and never received the two honors, which are among the highest bestowed for military service.
SAN DIEGO — Days after Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to a federal felony related to a yearslong campaign finance scandal, he has finally stated explicitly that he will resign from his congressional seat before the end of his term.
"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, R-Calif., in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.