by WorldTribune Staff, November 23, 2016
U.S. military recruiters and personnel at other military facilities will be allowed to carry concealed handguns, according to a new Defense Department directive.
The Defense Department directive comes seven years after the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood in Texas, where former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others.
In July 2015, terror attacks on a recruiting station and Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee claimed the lives of four Marines and a sailor.
While service members already were authorized to carry weapons as part of specific job responsibilities, the new directive allows them to apply to carry their privately owned firearms “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties.”
It also clarifies when military recruiters can be armed, said Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman.
“Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters,” Davis told Military Times on Nov. 21. “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”
Under the new policy, troops at recruiting stations and reserve centers can be armed if their commanders grant approval, Davis said.
Recruiters and other service members who are not security personnel cannot bring firearms to an off-base location that is guarded by police or security guards, the directive says.
“For example, DoD personnel assigned to recruiting duties should not be armed when visiting high schools that have law enforcement or security personnel on site.”