New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- Just days after the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting was stopped by armed citizens legally carrying concealed firearms, the Marine Corps has announced a policy change regarding concealed carry on bases. The change represents a marginal shift in a pro-Second Amendment direction when it comes to personal protection on military bases.
According to MARADMIN 719/19, this policy change means that Marine Corps personnel who are “Military Police, Criminal Investigators, and Marine Corps Law Enforcement Program Police Officers who meet credentialing requirements for concealed carry of a POF for personal protection.”
Under 18 USC 926B, active law enforcement officers are able to carry concealed in all 50 states. However, the provisions of 18 USC 926B(b)(2) do allow for restrictions on installations and bases. Unfortunately, as Breitbart News reported, commanders on military installations have all too often turned their bases into gun-free zones.
The military policy has often been at odds with Second Amendment rights.
MARADMIN 719/19 notes that Marine policy includes registration of personally owned firearms, along with restrictions on storage and transportation. Concealed carry permits are also not recognized on military bases. One summary of the restrictive policies is available at the website of Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
The policy changes were accelerated in the wake of an active shooter incident at Pearl Harbor Naval Base and a terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola. In the first instance, two workers and one other was wounded by a sailor with reported disciplinary problems who used service-issue weapons in the shooting.
The terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola was carried out by a Saudi trainee who killed three people with a pistol he purchased at a firearms dealer. The terrorist attack ended when a local sheriff’s deputy killed the gunman. According to Breitbart News, the terrorist had roughly ten minutes with no armed resistance on a military base. That’s six hundred seconds. By comparison, the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting lasted six seconds. In other words, immediate response by armed citizens reduced the time a shooter intent on evil had by 99 percent.
The policy change by the Marine Corps makes it a little more likely that a mass shooting will be interrupted, and that is a good thing. However, the Marine policy change does not respect the provisions of 18 USC 926C, nor does it respect concealed carry permits – even when research from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that concealed carry permit holders are more law-abiding than police.
Perhaps in the future, we will see the Second Amendment gain much more respect on military bases. Perhaps then, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who risk their lives in defense of this country and the Constitution will be able to exercise those rights if they choose to do so.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.