Following the recent shootings at the Washington Navy Yard and Fort Hood, Texas, the Marine Corps has moved quickly to put into place and enforce consistent regulations on the handling of privately owned guns on base.
Currently, “there is no overarching prescriptive instruction adequately governing the use and handling of privately owned firearms aboard installations at either the [Defense Department] or Marine Corps level,” officials said April 3, one day after a Fort Hood soldier killed three and wounded 16 others before taking his own life.
Until the Defense Department updates its own guidance, officials said, the Corps is putting interim rules into place.
In some cases, installations may already have rules in place consistent with those now being issued by the Marine Corps. Where they are not, however, commanders are responsible for ensuring the Corps-wide rules are adopted.
These include a prohibition on privately owned firearms in all federal facilities, leased spaces and government vehicles, and prohibitions on carrying privately owned concealed firearms on Marine Corps installations.
Additionally, such firearms stored aboard Marine bases must be registered and on file with the provost marshal's office/ Marine Corps police department, according to Marine Corps officials.
Also, neither the weapons nor the ammunition for them will be stored in bachelor enlisted quarters for non-commissioned officers and below. For enlisted staff NCOs and officers, storage in the BEQ and BOQ is at the discretion of the base commander.
Commanders may also authorized Marines to store personally owned firearms in unit or installation armories.
The complete list of interim Corps-wide regs may be found here.
Killed at Fort Hood on April 2 were Sgt. First Class Daniel M. Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy W. Owens. Before he killed himself when confronted by a Military Police officer, Spc. Ivan A. Lopez shot and wounded 16 others on the base.
The Army is continuing its investigation into Lopez and the shootings.