The Marine Corps has changed concealed carry rules to allow qualified active Marine law enforcement personnel to conceal carry on base while off-duty, according to a new Marine message.
The new rule allows active duty military police, criminal investigators, and Marine Corps law enforcement program police officers to conceal carry personally owned weapons while on base while off-duty as long as they comply to the 2016 Department of Defense Directive, title "Arming and the Use of Force, the MARADMIN says.
The relatively narrow requirements do not extend to Marine reservists who are members of law enforcement while not on Marine orders, nor to active duty law enforcement officers from different military branches.
The law allows the 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.”
There have been no reports of Marines killed or injured during the Friday shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
The change comes in the wake of multiple deadly on-base shootings in December. On Dec. 4, a sailor at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard opened fire while on guard duty near the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Columbia, killing two Department of Defense workers and wounding a third.
Two days later a Saudi Arabian military student started shooting in a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, killing three and injuring eight more before he died in a shootout with sheriff officers.
Both shootings were referenced by the Dec. 31, 2019, MARADMIN as a reason for speeding up the decision to allow Marine law enforcement to conceal carry on base.
“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 MARADMIN said. “These tragic events prompted Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) to accelerate existing efforts to develop concealed carry policies."
The new rule does not authorize the approved Marines to carry on any base or installation that is not controlled by the Marine Corps.
The personal weapons carried by the Marines must meet all local, state and federal laws for caliber, ammunition, capacity and design.
Federal concealed carry restrictions, including a ban on concealed carry at Department of Defense schools and courtrooms, “unless previously authorized by the military judge,” are still in effect, the MARADMIN says.
The Marine Corps is still considering further changes to policy restricting the use of personally owned firearms on base to improve the base safety, the MARADMIN said.
The Marine Corps continues “to develop policy to address the total force requirements for the carry, transport, and storage of concealed POFs aboard Marine Corps property,” the MARADMIN said.