DoD Changes Policy to Allow Concealed Firearms on Military Bases

The policy change was sent out by the Pentagon after several deadly attacks on the U.S. Military in America

This week, the Pentagon released guideline for members of the U.S. military and Department of Defense to carry privately owned concealed firearms on bases and a number of other Department of Defense locations across the nation.

The policy change was sent out by the Pentagon after several deadly attacks on the U.S. military on American soil.

In November 2009, 13 people were killed at Fort Hood by an Army psychiatrist. Three years ago, 12 people died after a government contractor opened fire inside the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. In 2014, an Iraq War veteran opened fire, killing three people before killing himself on the very same base. A Navy sailor and four Marines were killed by a gunman with ties to the Middle East in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July, 2015.

Navy veteran Paul Rodriguez says he gets emotional thinking about the members of the military that became victims in a place where they should feel safe.

“Anywhere, on any base, especially an American base when somebody comes in and starts shooting, and our American guys—I'm sorry that they don't have a chance to shoot back. It's just not right," Rodriguez said.

According to the guidelines, there are a number of procedures that will need to be developed on bases and the policy will also be adapted to state and federal regulations. At this point, the policy is in the early stages and work will be done at facilities across the U.S. to implement it.

NBC 7 spoke with dozens of members of the military who said they approved of the change.

One unnamed sailor, who said he is part of base security, said that he can’t be everywhere at one time so he likes the idea that his fellow sailors will be armed. Another said they have to constantly load and unload their weapon when they go on base.

Members of the military acknowledged that with the policy comes the issue that a fellow member could potentially use the weapon to cause harm, but added that the benefits outweigh the risk.

Joanne Elleh, who is not in the military added: “I think you'd find the least number of crazy people on a base and they're trained.”

Still some people were concerned about more guns in the hands of people on a military base or otherwise.

Nancy Parra’s dad served in World War II and said there are plenty of people on base that are armed to protect others on base.

“I think there's security personnel who—it’s specifically their job to train and the use of guns in this country is getting out of hand," Parra said.

NBC 7 spoke to people outside of the Navy Region Southwest building near downtown San Diego who were in support of the policy.

“I'm all for it,” said Marine Corps veteran Perry Young.

Navy veteran Drew Meyers said: “If they have proper training I think it's a deterrent.”

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