News: Marines reaffirm responsibility of personal firearm ownership
Story by Sgt. Justin Boling
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - Marine Corps leadership issued Corpswide guidance for personal firearm storage aboard installations April 4.
The release of Marine Administrative Message 176/14 (MARADMIN) creates standard policy and enforcement measures Corpswide.
“We decided to reemphasize, across the Marine Corps regulations, we have on the books at several installations and to make sure our Marines understand them,” Maj. Gen. Juan G. Ayala, Commander Marine Corps Installations Command, said. “We also wanted to make certain our installations remain safe for our Marines, sailors and their dependents — I like to use the term safe havens.”
Marine Corps Installation Command (MCICOM) serves as a higher headquarters for 24 Marine Corps installations nationwide. MCICOM provides leadership and direction to equip, train and provide all necessary support for operating forces and tenant activities. The command has only been fully operational for a little over a year.
According to Ayala, 99.9 percent of his 24 installations and the personnel who serve on them are safe and doing the right things. The recent Washington Navy Yard shooting tragedy prompted the Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Ray Mabus, to direct the Department of the Navy to take a look at the personal firearm policies already in place.
Measures standardized across the Marine Corps by MARADMIN 176/14 include:
Prohibit privately owned firearms in all federal workspaces, to include leased building and vehicles, a standard practice for all federal facilities.
Privately owned firearms cannot be carried as concealed weapons aboard installations.
All privately owned firearms will be stored in approved installation facilities, registered and on file with installation law enforcement.
Prohibit the storage of firearms in bachelor enlisted quarters. At the installation commanders’ discretion, residents of bachelor officers’ quarters and staff non-commissioned officer BEQs will be allowed to retain secured privately owned firearms in their rooms.
Transportation of privately owned firearms is authorized in POVs to and from an authorized storage area or to an off-base location consistent with federal, state, and local laws. They may also be transported to and from on-base areas where firearms use is authorized, such as hunting areas or recreational shooting ranges. All personally owned firearms will be placed in secure fully encased containers.
“There is no change; we are simply reemphasizing the importance of Marines being familiar with the base orders and regulations on personally owned firearms,” Ayala said. “As we do with a wide array of issues, we want the commanders and enlisted leaders to talk to their Marines about these issues at every level.”
Ayala emphasized his confidence in being close to his desired end state — keeping people and property safe and ready to support training to ensure the operating forces are sufficiently equipped and trained to fight.
“The Marine Corps has been handling weapons for 238 years,” Ayala said. “We still have a duty to emphasize these rules, maintain security and readiness, and reduce instances of irresponsible weapons handling.
“The MARADMIN is not taking anyone’s rights away. We just want our folks to be safe — period.”