What does it take to buy a gun at your Exchange or MWR facility?
What do US servicemembers in good standing and legal gun owners have in common?
1) Not felons
2) Not convicted of domestic abuse
3) Legal residents of the United States
4) Not drug addicts
5) Not mentally ill
6) Not fugitives from justice
In addition to the “Nots”, all US servicemembers have had at least rudimentary training in firearms and inculcation into a mindset of if-then decision making. Some are better than others; not everyone is a Tier Zero special operator but most should be expected to responsibly own and operate a weapon. In theory, this should make them entirely acceptable gun candidates for responsible firearms ownership under the Second Amendment and even the most ardent of gun controllers have a hard time generating a valid, sound counterargument. If you can be trusted with a M-4 with 210 rounds of ammunition under high stress conditions for 15 months at a stretch while deployed, surely buying a shotgun shouldn’t be a multi-day ordeal of paperwork. All decisions have consequences.
Nonetheless, the purchase of firearms varies widely from installation to installation. Some just require proof of exchange privileges, proof of residency (PCS orders or Driver’s License), money, and a 4473 filled out. Others attempt to involve Command authority to an onerous level of mother-may-I-permissions with a rank based hierarchy of permissions. Fort Stewart in 2014, for example, required a memorandum from the Commander for Soldiers E-5 and below.
Take the poll. Remember, the focus of the poll is the PURCHASE, not the carriage or storage of weapons on base.
Comment professionally about YOUR purchase experiences at various installations. SSD wants to know “How hard is it for Joe to buy a gun at your installation?”
Thulsa Doom is a long-time reader and occasional contributor to SSD. He is recently retired from the Army and has been stationed on Army, Air Force, and Navy installations with both cerebral and retard-strong Army and Joint assignments. A rifleman, historian, linguist, analyst, master of the electromagnetic spectrum and man-about-town, he currently resides in the Eastern United States and works as a DoD contractor.