No Movement from White House to Allow Concealed Carry on Bases

A patron at the Barksdale Base Exchange shops for a new pistol. The Gun Shop offers a wide variety of weapons including pistols, rifles, shotguns and pellet guns. (USAF photo by TSgt Laura K. Smith)
A patron at the Barksdale Base Exchange shops for a new pistol. The Gun Shop offers a wide variety of weapons including pistols, rifles, shotguns and pellet guns. (USAF photo by TSgt Laura K. Smith)

The White House has apparently dropped the idea of allowing service members to carry their personal weapons on bases as a safeguard against deranged killers.

The off-the-cuff proposal by President Donald Trump was omitted from a White House list of potential measures to rein in gun violence, and Pentagon spokespeople said Friday that they had yet to receive any guidance or tasking on concealed carries.

In a wide-ranging speech last month at a Conservative Political Action Committee conference, Trump dwelled at length on the shootings that killed 17 in Parkland, Fla., at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He said that military bases as well as schools were "gun-free zones" that could easily be targeted. Trained teachers should be allowed to carry weapons in schools and service members should be allowed to carry their personal weapons on bases to guard against the threat, Trump said.

"We had a number of instances on military bases, you know that," Trump said at CPAC, referring to the July 2015 incidents in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which four Marines and a sailor were killed.

"If we can't have our military holding guns, it's pretty bad," he said. "I'm going to look at that whole policy on military bases."

The shootings occurred at a recruiting storefront in a strip shopping mall and at a U.S. Naval Reserve Center some miles away, but Trump said the victims "were on a military base in a gun-free zone."

Last week, Trump proposed training teachers to use weapons but backed away from raising the age limit from 18 to 21 for the purchase of long guns.

The White House also put out a list of proposals for future consideration, including expanding background checks on firearms purchases, but the idea for concealed carry on bases was not on the list.

The current Defense Department policy essentially forbids the carrying of personal weapons on bases.

"Typically, only those engaged in law enforcement [or] related duties carry firearms" on bases, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davidson, a Pentagon spokesman.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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