Quantico, VA – The U.S. Marine Corps has changed its concealed-carry rules to permit qualified active-duty Marine law enforcement officers to carry on base while off-duty.
The rule change comes on the heels of several active-shooter incidents that occurred on military bases across the United States, the Marine Corps Times reported.
“In December 2019, the Department of the Navy (DON) suffered two fatal active shooter incidents aboard Naval Base Hawaii and Naval Air Station Pensacola,” the U.S. Marine Corps administrative message said. “These tragic events prompted Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) to accelerate existing efforts to develop concealed carry policies.”
The administrative message announced that active duty military police, criminal investigators, and Marine Corps law enforcement program police officers may concealed-carry personally-owned weapons while off-duty on base if they comply with the 2016 Department of Defense “Arming and the Use of Force” directive, the Marine Corps Times reported.
Permission to carry concealed weapons on base has not been extended to civilian law enforcement officers who serve as Marine reservists while not on Marine orders.
It also does not apply to active-duty law enforcement officers from other branches of the U.S. military, the Marine Corps Times reported.
The law specifically allows only Marines with valid credentials to “carry concealed privately owned firearms… aboard Marine Corps property in the United States and U.S. territories for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.”
It does not authorize Marines to concealed-carry weapons on any base or military installation that is not controlled by the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps Times reported.
And it requires that all personally-owned weapons comply with all local, state, and federal laws for caliber, ammunition, capacity, and design, according to the Marine Corps Times.
The administrative message made it clear that federal concealed-carry restrictions were still in effect “unless previously authorized by the military judge.”
The Marine Corps said it was working to further revise restrictive firearms policies in order to improve base safety, the Marine Corps Times reported.