USMC Firearm Policy Updated to Allow Concealed Carry for Self-Defense

A man wears an unloaded pistol during a pro gun-rights rally at the state capitol, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Austin, Texas. Gun rights supporters rallied across the United States to counter a recent wave of student-led protests against gun violence. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

USMC firearm policy has been updated to allow off-duty Marine Corps Law Enforcement professionals to carry concealed “privately owned firearms” while on base for self-defense.

The change comes after the December 4, 2019, firearm-based attack at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and the December 6, 2019, firearm-based attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola. U.S. military personnel who were present during the shootings were defenseless due to gun-free policies that bar concealed carry on bases and installations for self-defense.

Breitbart News reported witnesses of the Pensacola attack noted the attacker had 10 minutes without armed resistance in which to carry out his horrific work.

On December 9, 2019, Breitbart News reported that installation commanders prevent troops from being armed on base for self-defense.

Decision-making authority for on-base concealed carry shifted from the Secretary of Defense to installation commanders via Amendment S. 1536 in 2015, which passed as part of the “National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.” Yet installation commanders by-and-large stuck with the same gun-free policies.

A USMC memo on concealed carry changes that by authorizing “active Marine Corps Law Enforcement (LE) professionals who possess valid Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) 18 U.S.C. §926B credentials to carry concealed privately owned firearms (POF) aboard Marine Corps property in the United States and U.S. territories for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.”

Although the USMC memo sets limitations as to where off-duty Marine LE professionals can carry for self-defense, this policy is a clear step forward in the effort to eliminate the soft-target attraction of military installations.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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