Repeal DOD Directive 5210.56, enacted in 1992 by Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush. This is the directive that essentially designates military bases as gun free zones.

It is DoD policy that:...

b. Arming DoD personnel with firearms shall be limited and controlled. Qualified personnel shall be armed when required for assigned duties and there is reasonable expectation that DoD installations, property, or personnel lives or DoD assets will be jeopardized if personnel are not armed. Evaluation of the necessity to arm DoD personnel shall be made with the consideration of the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of those arms. However, the overriding factors in determining whether or not to arm are the mission and threat. Arming DoD personnel (i.e., administrative, assessment, or inspection, not regularly engaged in or directly supervising security or law enforcement activities) shall be limited to missions or threats and the immediate need to protect DoD assets or persons’ lives. DoD Components have the discretion to keep designated staff personnel qualified and available or on call to perform duties.


While there are some who will point to the last sentence as giving the CO of a base discretion to arm all of the personnel under his/her command if he/she believes it necessary, the emphasis is on "designated staff" and is limited by the previous directives that such a designation is limited to "missions or threats and the immediate need to protect DoD assets or persons’ lives," further limited to "the mission and the threat." The obvious intent of the directive is to keep the number of armed personnel as small as possible as a matter of course, and is limited primarily to missions in which there is a clear and present threat to stores/assets/personnel that are of a strategic nature; most of our bases do not merit armed protection under those definitions.

However, on 16 Sept. 2013 NBC posted a report of attacks on military bases going back to 1994. There have been no fewer than 16 shootings on stateside bases, many involving multiple victims (A History of Shootings at Military Installations in the U.S. | NBC4 Washington). This report does not take into account attacks on military bases overseas that could have been prevented if our personnel had been allowed to defend themselves, such as the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut (sentries were required to keep their weapons at condition 4).

Trusting the safety of our military personnel to private security companies or locally hired indigenous personnel cannot be tolerated any longer. Requiring military personnel who serve in a base security capacity to keep weapons at condition 4 is no longer acceptable.

Our personnel are the best trained and disciplined in the world. They know how to exercise restraint when restraint is called for; they also know how to unleash targeted destruction when necessary.

Let our military personnel do what they are trained to do - terminate threats with extreme prejudice! Repeal DOD Directive 5210.56!

Do more than "like" this thread if you agree - pass it on and contact your legislators ASAP.

I am including a sample letter below that you can cut and paste into an email or word processor:

To the Honorable (add title/name of legislator):

NBC News recently released a report (16 Sept. 2013) that documents no fewer than 16 shootings that have occurred on stateside military bases since 1995; many involved multiple victims. Their report does not take into account attacks on United States military personnel that have occurred on overseas bases, such as the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, which could have been prevented if sentries had not been required to keep their weapons at condition 4 (no magazine inserted and no rounds in the chamber).

The attacks all have one thing in common: each could have been prevented or limited if our trained and disciplined military personnel had been allowed to carry the weapons on which they were trained and were allowed to respond accordingly.

Trusting the safety of our military personnel to private security companies or locally hired indigenous personnel cannot be tolerated any longer. Requiring military personnel who serve in a base security capacity to keep weapons at condition 4 is no longer acceptable.

Our personnel are the best trained and disciplined in the world. They know how to exercise restraint when restraint is called for; they also know how to unleash targeted destruction when necessary.

However, DOD Directive 5210.56 essentially limits armed personnel on military bases to military police or those guarding strategic stores and assets. The recent shooting at the United States Navy Yard (Washington, D.C.) vividly demonstrates that this directive is woefully inadequate to protect our military personnel.

Trusting the safety of our military personnel to private security companies or locally hired indigenous personnel cannot be tolerated any longer. Requiring military personnel who serve in a base security capacity to keep weapons at condition 4 is no longer acceptable.

It is to repeal DOD Directive 5210.56. Let those who defend this nation with the weapons on which they were trained use those weapons to defend themselves.

Arm our military personnel!

Military security for military bases!

No more "shelter in place" orders!

Repeal DOD Directive 5210.56 - NOW!

Sincerely,