This incident took place when we had to move from the Pentagon to Maxwell AFB for my wife to go to school. I was a civilian male military spouse for more than 10 years, but I never thought about or encountered military base gun laws. An interesting point to note here is that in my entire time as a male spouse, we lived on base once. But even so, not living on base is no excuse for not knowing the base gun laws, especially as a gun owner.
Before I go too far, let me point out that it is important as a gun owner to know the firearm laws of the community you are in. This responsibility comes automatically with the right own firearms. My failure to know the firearm laws for the military bases I was leaving and going to did not excuse from those laws. Telling the movers that "I didn't know" about the firearm laws didn't make me any less of a violator of those laws.
Know Your Military Installation Firearm Laws
But what are the military base firearm laws? You may find differences as you go from one military installation to another. The important thing is for you to remember to seek out the firearm laws for your military base. That's right, at the same time you are trying to figure out where housing is located, where the clinic and hospital are located, ask around for the firearm laws for that installation.
Can you carry a concealed weapon on military bases?
Can I carry my gun on a military base?
Non-military personnel are not allowed to enter a base with a firearm on their person or in their vehicle. Yes, I know that there will be someone out there ready to argue with me using their personal experience of getting through the gate with a gun in the glove compartment. The rule still stands. Whether the rule is enforced is a different matter altogether.
You'll need more than luck, if you happen to be the unfortunate soul caught trying to get through a gate check vehicle inspection with a firearm. You may also find that your conceal carry permit won't help you.
Can you own a gun on a military base?
Private gun ownership is allowed on base. As of 2010, the Pentagon changed the 1993 rule by President Clinton, making it mandatory for all private firearms brought on base to be registered with the Military Police.
Again, Know Your Military Base Gun Laws
You may be asking, "I can own a gun on base, but I can't carry it? How do I get to the shooting range?" Then again, maybe not.
There may be exceptions. For example, going to the gun range on base with your own guns might be a case where the laws and rules differ.
Again, find out what your military base gun laws are.
Don't Be Ignorant
The point of all these words I put together is really to try and help a new civilian male military spouse avoid one of those moments when your ignorance is revealed...publicly. Remember my responses: "Huh?" and "I didn't know."
Obviously carrying a firearm on a military base is a big deal. Take the initiative and find out what the military base firearm laws are for you.
As for me, I quickly registered my firearms and all was fine again. The process was quick. My wife brought me the form to fill out and I completed the form with my firearm information and turned it into the Military Police.
Tip: I made copies of the completed form. So, for the next PCS move, all we had to do was turn a copy into our next base. Also, I gave a copy of the form to the truck driver who transported our goods.
Leave A Tip!
What's your best tip for a new civilian male military spouse? Leave it in the Comments section!
Grace and Peace!
Taurus James is the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Taurus is a 20-year civilian male military spouse and stay-at-home-dad. He is also a minister and composer of Moody Instrumental Music. Taurus is a professional IT Consultant and Web Developer, and he built and maintains the Machospouse.com website for free. Find out more about Taurus through his blog:
See taurusjames.com for more!