PDA

View Full Version : Military service and gun ownership. Where did you keep your personal guns?


leadcounsel
April 20, 2006, 02:24 AM
A question for those who have served or would otherwise know. During your time in the military, whether you were stateside or overseas, where did you keep your personal guns? For instance, if you were on a California base were you allowed to have your guns there (on the base or in your personal residence in California) or did you have to keep them outside the state? Does the military allow you to possess your own firearms in military housing on a base, assuming that the military base (as a Federal entity) is exempt from the State's laws. What about if you were overseas stationed in London, Germany, Korea, etc.? And what about concealed carry? I would assume that if you had a license to carry in your home state, you would only be able to carry in the state for which you're stationed if the state honors your home states license or if you apply for a local license. Would I also be assuming correctly that you cannot carry while on-base (also presuming you cannot have any personal firearms on base)?

44 AMP
April 20, 2006, 02:43 AM
In the 70s, when I lived in the barracks (Army), both in the States and in Germany, you could keep personal weapons in the company Arms room, with permission. There was a bit of paperwork, and it was quite the hassle to check them out for shooting (if local laws permitted), but you were allowed to have them. Large number were not allowed, but one or two would generally be approved. This was at duty stations, not Basic, or AIT. I left mine at home with my parents, and they were happily waiting for me when I came home.:)

Today, I'm afraid I don't know for sure. My daughter lives in base housing on an AFB in Texas, I'll ask her when I get a chance, I know they have some guns, but I din't know what they had to do to keep them. register with Provost Marshal, I think.

Wisby
April 20, 2006, 03:23 AM
I can answer a few of those. I'm currentlly living in Bremerton Wa and stationed at Bangor. I live out in town and keep my Guns there. If you want a personnal gun on base you are "Supposed" to inform the base security. If you live in the Barrarcks you can keep your gun in the base Armory. If you live in houseing on base you can keep your guns there but you have to have a Gun safe I am unsure as to the requirements of the Safe but i've seen some pretty cheap ones in my friends house's. You can not CCW on base. I have a Texas Drivers and Orders for Bangor, so I have a Wa CCW. Also God help you if you didn't inform base Police and your Gun is found in a Random vehicle search which they do all the damn here. The good thing about that is everyone is 15 min's early to work if you don't get searched.

Superhornet
April 20, 2006, 07:45 AM
Base Armory NAS Cecil Field when it was active...

Handy
April 20, 2006, 08:01 AM
Military bases, right or wrong, adhere to local laws. So you cannot keep a banned rifle or mag in a base arsenal to get around Cali. law. The days of treating bases as Federal reservations is over, and you'd be violating state law just getting the banned gun to the base.

I left my gun in the armory until I moved off base. My brother left some of his guns with me, and others with the 'rents.


If you are truly at a loss where to put your guns, contact local FFLs in some convenient location and inquire about storage in their safes, or get a safety deposit box if it is just magazines or handguns.

support_six
April 20, 2006, 02:45 PM
Handy is partially correct. Most military installations are actually "state" property, occupied by federal agencies by agreement. There are some exceptions, such as Fort Lee, Virginia -- this is truly Federal property. Just get a traffic ticket on Fort Lee and you will be up before a Federal Magistrate who comes down from D.C. monthly to conduct "court".

The agreements between the individual states and the federal government require the feds to enforce the state laws in which they reside. For instance, a 17 year old trainee cannot drink alcohol in the EM club anymore. They are "carded" just like anywhere else.

The military, at least the Army, has some other rules for "on post" deportment. As an officer, I could keep my personally owned firearms in my government supplied quarters on post, as long as I "registered" them with the Provost Marshall (just like registering a vehicle). This was nothing more than filling out a card kept on file at the "police station" as it were. I could use them in any legal capacity I wanted. When I was posted to Germany, I took two firearms with me, had the serial numbers placed on my "change of station" orders, and carried them in my "checked" baggage. The small "kaserne" I was on had a skeet range.

As a company commander, our installation in Augsburg had a requirement that soldiers living in my barracks were required to place their privately owned firearms in my company arms room. We had extra racks to house them, under lock. I never had a problem in the unit with these weapons. I can't say the same for troops blitzed on "Jagermeister"!!!

Hkmp5sd
April 20, 2006, 05:55 PM
Military bases, right or wrong, adhere to local laws. So you cannot keep a banned rifle or mag in a base arsenal to get around Cali. law. The days of treating bases as Federal reservations is over, and you'd be violating state law just getting the banned gun to the base.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=18785&d=1101333281

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=104267

Here's a document explaining privately owned firearms at the Presidio of Monterey (POM) and the Ord Military Community (OMC).
http://pom-www.army.mil/directorates/DPS/Weapons.htm

marks655
April 21, 2006, 09:09 AM
I served in the Army '68-71. Stateside required personal weapons be stored in a company arms locker. You had to request access in advance to get it. In VN personal weapons were not an issue. :->

PSE
April 21, 2006, 09:16 AM
i ws an MP so i kept mine at the PMO armory till inspections came around them i stored them in the trunk for those 2 days.

Handy
April 21, 2006, 09:34 AM
I'm a little confused by Hkmp5sd's post. The POM link states that guns illegal in Cali. are illegal on post. But then discusses "legally owned assault weapons". Does that refer to weapons grandfathered under Cali. law?


I do know that you, as a non-resident, can bring an "assault rifle" into Cali. for the specific purpose of shooting a sanctioned match.


It sounds like all this hinges on what a "legally owned assault weapon" is defined as.

UltimaThule
April 21, 2006, 10:56 AM
I kept mine in my personal locker, right next to my service rifle.

Which is completely irrelevant since I served in a completely different country. :)

Capt Charlie
April 21, 2006, 11:25 AM
I was crew on a destroyer, 1970-'72, and kept mine in the small arms locker.

But since I was the gunner's mate in charge of the small arms locker.........;) :D

VirgilCaine
April 21, 2006, 12:49 PM
I was a MP in the late 80's - early 90's. All personal weapons were kept in the arms room and had to be signed out/in. If you were married and billeted in gov't housing, you could keep them with you there. It was fun sometimes when pulling CQ late at night, to wake up the armorer and look at everyones weapons.

Blackwater OPS
April 21, 2006, 02:10 PM
I was also an MP, all POWs were to be kept in the arms room, none allowed in the barracks. That said, this was not enforced at all, and the result was guns hidden all over the place, they could not be in plain sight in case an officer decided to do an "inspection". The army is a very silly place.

Jeff #111
April 21, 2006, 03:27 PM
Army Reserve and National Guard (1986-1992)
Regular Army (1992-2000)

I kept mine at my parent's house in Idaho in my father's gunsafe. I bought two rifles when I was on active duty and shipped them home via UPS. I didn't like it, but the hassle wasn't worth it to me.

Tom2
April 21, 2006, 03:38 PM
I had a Ruger 22 and initially kept it on base, in NC, in the police armory. Yes, you had to hassle with signing it in and out all the time. Some people recommended against it. They said the people in the armory liked to get out the personal firearms and play with them. One supposedly kept a real nice handgun in there, and one time got it out of the armory to find it appeared to have been dropped on concrete. That would ____me off. So I had friends living with spouse off base, and had it transferred to their residence for safekeeping. Then I eventually lived off base in private residences, on my nickel, and had it all the time at home. I still had an "official" barracks room, but did not reside there. It was OK with the "management" as long as you had a phone, and could be reached off base easily! But heck I once lived off base in a trailor, with no phone! Gave a friends number to them, and he would stop by and inform me of any emergency calls. Slack service then.

Chaingunner
April 21, 2006, 04:49 PM
As an armory gunner's mate, I was understandably ****** when I asked my chief if I could buy a weapon and keep it in the armory onboard the ship and was told "nope." Every time I looked into it I got the impression that it was legal, but such a pain in the rear that it's not even worth doing. Nobody onboard as personally owned weapons on the ship, with the exception of the handful of airsoft guns that the MAs have confiscated (which I should probably tell my chief about, since those things aren't supposed to be onboard).

My main motivation for getting an apartment after my first WESTPAC was to have a place to keep guns! So now I've got a 91/30 Mosin Nagant, and I'm going to pick up a 1911 in a few months here when I've got a few hundred bucks to drop.

I understand that it may be possible to keep privately owned weapons in the base armory here at Naval Base San Diego on 32nd street, but again, it's probably a huge pain to get them on and off base.

Hkmp5sd
April 21, 2006, 05:49 PM
keep it in the armory onboard the ship and was told "nope."

We used to be allowed to store our personal weapons in the small arms locker on my submarine. Just check them out, go to the range and bring them back. Nothing drastic. Of course, that was 20 years ago.

The POM link states that guns illegal in Cali. are illegal on post. But then discusses "legally owned assault weapons". Does that refer to weapons grandfathered under Cali. law?

That is what the form was for. Apparently there is a procedure in place to allow active duty personnel to bring privately owned assualt weapons into California while stationed there.

leadcounsel
April 21, 2006, 08:10 PM
Is the policy any different for officers vs. enlisted?

Blackwater OPS
April 21, 2006, 09:31 PM
For the most part officers live off post, and they certainly don't live in the barracks.

Handy
April 21, 2006, 10:49 PM
Single officers choosing to live on base live in quarters very similar to the enlisted ones. They obey all the same policies.

Blackwater OPS
April 21, 2006, 11:38 PM
I cannot imagine why one would turn down BAH to live on post. I don't know any officers who did, with the exception of a few VERY high ranking gererals who I'm CERTAIN did not follow the same policies as everyone else. And they lived in mansions, heheh.

Handy
April 22, 2006, 10:23 AM
Geo bachelors.

AirForceShooter
April 22, 2006, 10:35 AM
When I lived in the barracks my weapons were in the Squadron weapons room.
when I moved off base they went with me.

AFS

JoshB
April 23, 2006, 05:41 PM
As a Marine officer, I'm not allowed to ccw my personal weapons on base. If you live in the BOQ/BEQ you have to keep all firearms in the armory. Fortunately for me, I don't live in the BOQ and I'm able to keep my cache at home.
I think not being able to ccw while on a military instalation might have something to do with the law of war. To be classified as a military force one of the requirements is to "carry arms openly" along with wearing a distinguishable uniform, and have some form of command, etc, etc.
I will say that I havn't met too many officers that practice their right to bear arms. In fact I usually don't discuss this at work because I usually get strange looks from guys when I talk about my small arsenal.

tlm225
April 23, 2006, 09:49 PM
I kept mine with me in base housing. They had to be registered with the base police. My son, now in the army, keeps his at my home (i'm now retired). He doesn't trust the base armory and knows they are well taken care of here, 2000 miles away.

Jeff #111
April 24, 2006, 10:17 AM
JoshB
I will say that I havn't met too many officers that practice their right to bear arms. In fact I usually don't discuss this at work because I usually get strange looks from guys when I talk about my small arsenal.

I ran into the same thing in the Army. Those of us who were "gun-nuts" learned pretty quickly not to say anything about our interests.

The last few months I was in I was assignned to the battalion S-4. I recall looking at more than a few nice privately owned firearms in the company vaults. Typically they were stacked in a corner and not treated all that well.

Harry Paget Flashman
April 27, 2006, 08:29 PM
I don't know what the regs were but while in Hawaii in the 70's I kept mine in my quarters in Navy housing. The housing was "off-base" and ungated. There was a state requirement to register all guns brought into the state, which I did comply with.

While living in base housing at Seal Beach NWS in the 80's I kept my guns in my house. My neighbor, an ex-enlisted Marine 1stLt said, "Don't worry about it." I never did. I retired in '91. Things are probably different now.

Dilbert
April 27, 2006, 10:04 PM
According to my recruiter, who I asked on Monday, in the Air Force they must be kept in the barracks armory where you can check them out whenever you desire, unless you have family housing or live off base.

Superhornet
April 28, 2006, 07:09 AM
LC------------Just out of curiosity, are you working up a case of lawsuit against the military or an individual ????

leadcounsel
April 28, 2006, 04:32 PM
are you working up a case of lawsuit against the military or an individual ????

Neither, just curious about how it all works.

K Hall
May 1, 2006, 06:36 AM
As a current " Army wife" I have been to a few bases with my husband and one rule has been unanimous.. If you live on the base, your weapon or weapons MUST be in the armory unless you are going to, shooting on, or leaving the range or are taking your weapon off the base. Keeping weapons in barracks room can get you in huge trouble. We currently live off base, so all his weapons are here at our home. When going to the base ranges, he tells the gate guard immeadiately that there is a weapon in the vehicle and that he is going to the range. The last thing you want to have happen on a military installation is get pulled over for a random vehicle inspection and have them find a weapon that hasnt been proclaimed.

ironrice
May 4, 2006, 10:28 AM
Just to clear one thing Blackwater said about officers living off base, in the Air Force at least, you don't get BAH if you live on base. You get it if you live off base. And as an Officer it's almost imposssible to get on base housing if you're not married. I live off base right now and I get BAH of $700 but my rend is $400 so I pocket $300. Not a bad deal.

Davidoff
May 4, 2006, 10:46 AM
I'm enlisted AF and the policy here at Travis AFB is pretty much the same as everyone is saying. If you live in the Dormitories, personal weapons must be kept in the base armory where the Combat Arms people are free to mess with your arsenal. I have heard of some weapons checked in clean but returned to the owner mysteriously dirty!! If you live in base housing you can keep them in the house but you have to file a form with Security Forces letting them know what firearms you have, so that they know what they're walking into if the get a call to your house.

Ironrice: I'm at Travis and I'm getting $1591 BAH, Pocketing almost $700 after rent. Being stationed in N. Cal sucks for gun ownership, but helps me save for when I move somewhere more 2nd amendment friendly.

JoshB
August 3, 2006, 08:00 AM
I recently had an interesting experience with this. I just moved to a new duty station in NC and my wife made reservations at the base hotel while we were looking for a house. Sure enough, the hotel isn't considered "base housing" so I had to get my firearms registered and kept in the armory. Well, I show up to the armory at 6pm expecting the duty to take care of my firearms. Well, the place was locked up like Alcatraz!!!. I had to go to the BN duty who recalled a SSgt and a couple of his armorer's to get the key from the safe. Now, the guys from regiment usually unlock the armory, so none of these guys know the codes/combinations. When we finally got in the armory (after a few nearby duties NCO's and MP's had stopped by to investigate a few guys in civvies trying to unlock the armory) it was almost 10pm. Now, it gets worse - when we finally closed on our house, I had to get a letter from the Col, to permanantly release my firearms from the armory.
Bottom lis is that if I had known what a hassle it would be, I would have kept them at a friends house.

rick_reno
August 3, 2006, 08:31 AM
I only had one gun when I was drafted - I left it at home.

Oldphart
August 3, 2006, 11:40 AM
Obviously, military attitudes regarding personal firearms have changed right along with the civilians. When I was stationed on Adak in 1954-55 I kept a Ruger pistol in my barracks locker. Once, when we had a surprise inspection, I also had a Winchester Model 70 30-06 stuffed in there and the inspecting officer didn't even blink. But those were the days when the Army and Marine Corps issued a recruit a rifle and he kept it with him everywhere he went. My step-son is in the Marines now and the only time he handles a rifle is when someone hands him one from the armory and once he's done with it he has to check it back in. Even in Iraq he seldom carried a rifle (of course he's an electronics tech, so they probably don't want to take a chance on getting him shot.)

support_six
August 3, 2006, 03:46 PM
The quantity of housing for either married or single officers is different on each post (remember, Navy, Marines & Air Force lives on "Base", Army lives on "Post" or at a "Fort"). Some posts have lots of married housing but few BOQs (Bachelor Officers Quarters). Some have lots of both. When you process in to a new post, you go to the post housing office and sign up for government housing on post. If there is none, you get a "statement of nonavailability" which allows you to find suitable housing off post and this becomes the source document to start your "BAQ" (Basic Allowance for Quarters) at the finance office.

Soldiers in barracks are generally required to store personally owned weapons in the unit arms room. Married soldiers (enlisted or officers) residing in government quarters on post can register their pow's with the Provost Marshal and keep them in their quarters. Soldiers living off post can keep their pow's in their rented homes. I was always married while in the Army so I don't know what bachelor Officers were required to do who lived in BOQ's since they were more like motel rooms or small apartments in a building than barracks or single family dwellings.

gb_in_ga
August 3, 2006, 03:52 PM
My guns stayed with my parents when I was in the Army back in the '70s.

Jeff #111
August 3, 2006, 04:35 PM
My last assignment was at Fort Drum (96-2000). I was told by an MP that they were only issued one loaded magazine for their Beretta and that they had to carry their handgun with an empty chamber - pretty standard I suppose.

They did have shotguns but he said that only the sergeants carried them. Now granted the life of a military police officer in CONUS can be fairly uneventful, but that just seems stupid. Perhaps it has a lot to do with each installation's Provost Marshall. Does anybody know? Perhaps there are some forum members who are currently serving as MP's or perhaps have been MP's in say the last ten years?

Like cops there are many folks in uniform who are not into firearms and could care less about them.

support_six
August 4, 2006, 03:26 PM
"Blackwater" said, "I was also an MP, all POWs were to be kept in the arms room, none allowed in the barracks. That said, this was not enforced at all, and the result was guns hidden all over the place, they could not be in plain sight in case an officer decided to do an "inspection". The army is a very silly place."

You're right, that little part of the Army was silly and some company commander needed to be relieved of his command!

As a platoon leader in the 194th Armored Brigade, I had a soldier come to me one day and tell me one of my troops had a .45 under his mattress. That was probable cause -- I took the platoon sergeant to his room and found a "replica .45acp". I called the troop to his room and we talked about it. He had no good reason for having it but alluded to using it to scare someone. I gave him a choice -- either I confiscate it without comment, or an Article 15. He chose to give it up.

In Augsburg, my unit area was next to the 555th MP Company. That was the worst company on the Kaserne. Couldn't get the dogs into my barracks without the MPs alerting my druggies, whole platoons of that unit got busted for drugs, not to mention that they kept "mooning" my company formations from their barracks rooms! ...couldn't conduct company business over the giggling! The MPs at Fort Knox were no better.

Wait a minute, Blackwater, our participation in previous threads indicated you were a combat arms troop. Now I see you were "Combat Support Arms" and in another thread you indicate your LEO experience was as a "leo" at a Disney theme park! Hmmmm.

Hkmp5sd
August 4, 2006, 07:26 PM
a "leo" at a Disney theme park!

aka Keystone Kops. :)

oldgranpa
August 4, 2006, 08:10 PM
Similar to Josh, I was a Marine officer, but way back in the 50's. Left all my personal firearms at home with dad. No room for anything but issued arms back then. And we lived mostly out in the open.
Cheers, and Semper Fi!
og

esheato
August 4, 2006, 08:21 PM
Every base and sevice are different.

I'm AD AF, stationed in CA, and we're allowed to PCS into CA with illegal assault weapons (aka ARs) as long as they go straight to the base armory. On the other hand, you are not allowed to remove them from the base. If you take one step off the base with the weapon in your possession, it's felony assault weapon possession and you go straight to jail.

As far as everything else, if you're living downtown in an apartment, you can do as you please. If you're living in the dormitories, there is a no weapons policy and there are frequent inspections. If you're in base housing, weapons are allowed as long as they're registered with the base cops....but nobody checks up and there are no inspections. From what I hear, most people register a few and keep their mouth shut about the rest of their collections.

Ed

IZHUMINTER
August 4, 2006, 08:36 PM
The Army gives post commanders a good deal of latitude with regard to privately owned weapons. Some posts don't allow any unregistered weapons at all...while others allow you to check them in at the gate. One post I was at had a 72 hour grace period for weapons disposition when you made a permanent change of station move there while another required that weapons be immediately placed in the arms room, regardless of what the final disposition of them would be.

Here at Fort Meade, my weapons are registered with the Provost Marshall, and I keep them in my Government quarters. Enlisted personnel E-6 and below have to have their weapons registration cards signed by their company commander; Senior NCOs, Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers only need the Provost Marshall stamp for the cards to be kosher. Privately Owned Weapons are prohibited in Unit Housing (aka "barracks/dorms/BOQ/BEQ/etc."), but registered weapons are allowed in Government Quarters (aka "family housing").

IZinterrogator
August 6, 2006, 09:23 PM
I'm AD AF, stationed in CA, and we're allowed to PCS into CA with illegal assault weapons (aka ARs) as long as they go straight to the base armory. On the other hand, you are not allowed to remove them from the base. If you take one step off the base with the weapon in your possession, it's felony assault weapon possession and you go straight to jail.
Not so. Per the CA DOJ:
A Military Assault Weapon Registration (MAWP) application is completed before an assault weapon is brought into this state for active duty soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines who have permanent duty station orders for California. The MAWP registration is only good for the duration of the active duty status; if discharged in the state of California, the assault weapon must be surrendered to local law enforcement, sold to an assault weapon firearms dealer, rendered permanently inoperable, or destroyed.

If you wish to receive a MAWP application, or if you have further questions on assault weapon law for the military, please call (916) 227-3694 and ask for Lana.So you can legally own them in CA, and you can also take them off post since they are legally registered there (until your ETS date).

esheato
August 6, 2006, 10:09 PM
News to me! Could you post the specific section that refers to this? I'd like to read up on it.

Thanks for the update.

Ed

IZinterrogator
August 6, 2006, 10:59 PM
That was a response to an e-mail I sent. You might want to call Lana at the number listed at the bottom for more information on it.