How do you feel about military police carrying personal firearms on Marine Corps bases?
The United States Marine Corps announced Tuesday that it had authorized military police officers to bring their privately owned firearms onto bases, a rule change that senior officers said was hastened by fatal shootings at two Navy installations in the past month.
About 3,200 qualified law enforcement officers are eligible to arm themselves for their personal protection, but not in the performance of their official duties under the new rule, Captain Joseph Butterfield, a U.S.M.C. spokesman, said on Thursday. They are required to have a concealed carry permit for the firearms.
Previously, only service weapons could be carried by members of the group — which includes military police, criminal investigators and civilian law enforcement officers who work for the Marines at some bases — solely as part of their duties.
The Department of Defense had been reviewing concealed carry rules for several years. In 2016, the Pentagon issued an “arming and use of force” directive that was intended to develop a concealed carry policy for base personnel. Last May, the secretary of the Navy followed through with the initiative and gave Navy and Marine Corps commanders the authority to grant concealed carry authorizations. The Marine Corps is part of the Navy.
It was not immediately clear if any other United States military branches were considering allowing base personnel to carry personal firearms.
What are your thoughts?