The Department of Defense is going to allow soldiers to carry guns.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the DOD yesterday released its 26-page directive that minutely details how and when service personnel can be armed on base for personal protection. It is called “Arming and the Use of Force.”
A policy directive that stretches 26 pages seems a bit like overkill, especially to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. He told the Free Beacon, “Only the government could take 26 pages to justify the right and need to have a firearm for self-defense. It took the founding fathers only a sentence: The Second Amendment.”
Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, told the publication, “It is a good first step in that it recognizes personal protection is a valid issue for service members, but there are many roadblocks in the way of making that option available.”
The move comes more than a year after attacks on a recruiting office and navy facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
There were also attacks at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 and 2014, and at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard in 2013.
Those incidents stunned the nation. Up to that point, average citizens might have expected that terrorists and gunmen would be met with a barrage of return fire at any military installation. When it was revealed that there were regulations against military personnel from being armed on base for personal protection, gun rights advocates were first to step forward with calls for a change.
This policy change comes at an interesting moment. A pro-Second Amendment president-elect is on his way to the White House in January, and an anti-gun administration is about to fold up its tent and go home. The would-be successor to the current administration, also a gun control supporter who famously said she thinks the Supreme Court was wrong on the Second Amendment has kept an uncharacteristic low profile since losing Nov. 8. That she sent a surrogate to speak to her supporters on election night, rather than make a personal appearance, will not be lost on history.
Donald Trump’s stunning victory has allowed gun owners to sigh with relief that Hillary Clinton will not be making appointments to the Supreme Court and federal courts. There are already predictions that his election could bring a slowdown to gun sales.
But now may not be the time for Second Amendment activists to nap on their laurels. With Congress and the White House under Republican control, many activists are suggesting that 2017 can be a year of regaining lost ground. Trump has suggested national reciprocity/recognition for concealed carry licenses and permits, same as driver’s licenses.
There is also quiet rumbling about making silencers/suppressors more available to shooters under a hearing protection law that would remove the devices from regulation under the National Firearms Act.
As Gottlieb has lately put it, “It’s time to make the Second Amendment great again.”
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