Does the military allow carry of non-issue arms?


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HungSquirrel
January 30, 2005, 06:44 PM
I am joining the military soon. I can't decide between branches, but I know I will be going in. I have a question for the soldiers/airmen/seamen/jarheads/coasties/vets on the forum: does the military as a whole, or certain branches, permit all soldiers to carry while on base on duty if they choose? Can they carry a personal weapon rather than an issue weapon (e.g. an M1911A1 as opposed to an M9)? What about soldiers whose specific duty requires them to carry (MPs, infantry, etc.): can they carry a personal sidearm as opposed to/in addition to the M9? Are they allowed to have one in the barracks?

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brandxj
January 30, 2005, 06:51 PM
Pretty much no to all questions above.

1. military as a whole, or certain branches, permit all soldiers to carry while on base on duty if they choose? No firearms allowed on installation unless issued or transporting to and from housing.

2. Can they carry a personal weapon rather than an issue weapon (e.g. an M1911A1 as opposed to an M9)? Flat out NO. Only issued weapons allowed

3. What about soldiers whose specific duty requires them to carry (MPs, infantry, etc.): can they carry a personal sidearm as opposed to/in addition to the M9? Still NO

4. Are they allowed to have one in the barracks? Again NO. Military family housing it is okay though....go figure.

xenobia
January 30, 2005, 06:51 PM
HungSquirrel, you cannot keep weapons in the barracks. You will have to check them into the arms room. Also bring no weapons with you to basic training, they will confiscate them. I can't give an answer as to being allowed to use your personal side arm while on duty or on deployment.

HungSquirrel
January 30, 2005, 06:53 PM
I'm not dumb enough to bring one to basic, I was asking about once basic and MOS training have completed. ;)

brandxj
January 30, 2005, 06:54 PM
Even after basic and school....still NO

Shorts
January 30, 2005, 06:55 PM
When my husband went on flights during deployment, they could carry an issue weapon and a certain number of rounds. When they landed, all pistols and ammo was counted and turned back in. Weapons are kept on a short string on base. Unless it is part of your issue for your job, you don't carry.

On base, no weapons allowed. If you legally carry, those must be sally ported at the sentry's station. You can get it on your way out.

xenobia
January 30, 2005, 07:01 PM
I didn't think you'd bring one to basic. :) But the confiscation applies to pocket knives as well. :( Mentioning this may have slipped the recruiter's mind.

Powderman
January 30, 2005, 07:22 PM
As far as the Army is concerned:

If you have POW's (Personally Owned Weapons), and you live in the barracks, you will take them to the Arms Room upon inprocessing and turn them in. Then you will go forthwith to the Provost Marshal's office and register them.

You must request, in writing, permission to withdraw the firearm and state what purpose you will be using it for.

You are NOT allowed to carry the firearm on post, or on military property under any circumstances. This applies even if you have a CPL/CCW for the State in which you reside.

All ammunition must be stored in the Arms Room. No exceptions.

If you live in Gov't Quarters, you will register your personally owned firearms with the Provost Marshal's office. Same restrictions as noted above for carry.

You will NOT, under ANY circumstances, be authorized to utilize your privately owned weapon for any military purpose. Period. This is the kind of question (if asked of your chain of command) that will bring the undying scrutiny of your supervisors (Officers and NCO's) upon you FOREVER. You will live under a microscope as long as you are in that unit.

And, when you PCS to another duty station, the story WILL follow you.

Also, if you decide to acquire privately owned weapons (and you live in the barracks) invest in a locking gun case for the firearm; one that will fit into a old metal wall locker. This is where your firearm will be stored under lock and key, within the Unit Arms Room.

The firearm MUST be accessed quarterly for serial number inventories. This can be avoided if you display the firearm for the Armorer and the Executive Officer of the unit (usually, this guy is the Arms Room Officer), then lock the firearm in the case with a seal of some type.

(Think twice about putting your firearm into the Arms Room, in other words. I ran four separate Arms Rooms while in the Army. You will not believe the condition of the privately owned weapons I saw. This disrepair was caused by the out going armorers screwing around when they should have left them alone. :what: )

Finally, if you are a reloader, you'll have to find somewhere else to do it. While there are generally no restrictions on having your press and dies (and other tools) boxed up and stored in your barracks, you will usually NOT be able to keep powder or primers in the barracks. (Again, don't even ask. Just find somewhere else to do it.)

Hope all this helps!

Cordially yours,

Powderman
ex-SSG, USA

HungSquirrel
January 30, 2005, 08:05 PM
Thanks for your replies! As a reservist I'll just be leaving my M1911A1 at home then. :D

RyanM
January 30, 2005, 08:21 PM
IIRC, according to the something-or-other conventions (I can't remember which one), if you kill an enemy soldier with a non-issued firearm, you'll be charged with murder.

HungSquirrel
January 30, 2005, 08:27 PM
So, hypothetically speaking, if you took an enemy's rifle and shot him in the face with it before he could draw his sidearm, you'd be charged with murder? How long has that been in effect? In wartime there are always a few soldiers who commandeer weapons from those they have, er, 'liberated'. :D

RyanM
January 30, 2005, 09:44 PM
That's what I was thinking when I read that, too. Can't remember at all where I read it, though. It doesn't appear to be in either the Geneva or Hague Conventions, so I have no idea.

Phil Ca
January 30, 2005, 09:48 PM
While I understand the answer is basically NO to all the questions asked, I had a different experience. Mind you this was the mid 1950's and I was in a service unit not combat arms.

When I went to Germany as a 17 years old Pvt E-2 I immediately set out to learn the language. The next thing I did was to join the Coleman Barracks Rod and Gun Club. I turned 18 and started to collect a smal personal arsenal. I bought a Winchester Model 77 .22 rifle that had a 'sear' problem. At the range which was about two or three blocks from the barracks I found that if I pulled the trigger and then released the trigger I could empty the 7 round magazine in two burst most of the time. It was my first time to fire full auto other than the cal .30 MG in BCT at Fort Ord a few months before.

My other firearms were a German P-38 in 9mm, a Remington military rebuilt .45 M1911, a Browning P-35 in 9mm, and eventually a Nagant seven shot 1929 revolver in 7.62(I used reloaded M1 carbine ammo in it) All the arms were kept in the arms room in a locked case. The ammo was locked up in the arms room as well.

When we moved to another post a few miles away the same rules applied. Now the range I had been using was still back at the other post but I had to travel on two street cars and a bus to get there. Sometimes a friend tat also liked to shoot would go with me. After he bought a little English car it was easier. we were instructed by the local Military Police that we had to carry the firearms in open carry. I did not like that but no one ever messed with you when you did. I had a friend in the German Army that liked to go shooting and when he came to his home on leave we would drive over to the range and practice. He had a P-08 in a genuine WW2 holster that had belonged to his father.

When the soldier that worked in the arms room went home the first sergeant asked for volunteers to be the armorer. I was selected and soon I was in my element working on M1 rifles, M2 carbines, M3A1 SMG's, and Cal .50 M2 MG's. My firearms were now more accessible and I passed several major inspections during the few months I worked there.

During the monthly alerts I was responsible in issuing out the firearms before the "umpires" put a big "X" in chalk on the door to the arms room. I had a driver and a 3/4 ton truck that would appear outside in the street. We would load the firearmsthat off-post personell had not yet picked up and the 3.5 rocket launchers and perhaps one of the .50 cal MG's and be ready to move out. At that time we were constantly reminded that there were people that would like to hijack firearms and take them to France a few miles away to sell to the Algerian Freedom Fighters as they were called then.

I would carry my personal .45 with at least one loaded magazine of 230 ball ammo in a tanker holster under my field jacket. I never bothered to ask permission and I never told anyone what I was doing. When a lieutenant that was issued a M2 carbine wanted to carry a .45 and asked to borrow mine I allwed him to do so. He still carried the carbine but he though it looked cool to have a sidearm on his pistol belt as well. I carried my Browning P-35 during the alerts when he was doing that. I had a magazine with 13 rounds of ball ammo.

When I joined the USAF I was just a month under 21 and I took my P-35 to the training school at Amarillo AFB which was my first assignment. Some people thought I was in the RAF when they saw my my duffle bag and my orders said RAF on them. The army guy that typed them up said "you must be regular air force, right?" When I was assigned to Clark Field in the PI a few months later I also brought my .45 pistol. I fired at the range at Clark during my time there.

After those 4 years were over and I was planning to get a civilian job my wife and I sat down for a talk. The small town in Oregon seemed to have 'zero' opportunities for decent work. We had a 6 months old daughhter and we were expecting our second child. I knew i had to make a choice soon. President Kennedy was killed on Friday and the next week I went down and signe up with the army again. After a brief few weeks at Fort Ord I was posted to Korea. Knowing that this was an unaccompanied tour I decided to make the most of it. I bought a Savage Model 24 in .22 LR/410 and brought my High Standard .22 pistol with me. In Korea i obtained a hunting license and went pheasant hunting with the CWO I worked for and a platoon sergeant. We used the dog the CWO bought from a Korean farmer. That was a great hunting dog.

When the Gulf of Tonkin incident came about we went into a high alert status. Peking Polly was telling us we were in deep kimchee and we already had caught some NK spies at our missile launch site on the mountain top. we went into the alert mode and carried a rifle wherever we went. The armorer (on the QT) asked if I wanted my .22 pistol to carry and of course I said yes. I still had the tanker holster from years before. (in fact I still have it) I kept it out of sight under my jacket. When the alert died down I returned it to the arms room.

After Korea I was sent to Fort Riley where the preps were being made to go to the RVN. When I managed to get assigned to a unit getting ready to ship out I went to a gun shop and bought a small pocket pistol in .38 special caliber. The catain at the base theatre when asked the question about personal forearms gave a "wink and a nod" to the idea by saying that it was not authorized but to be sure and get something in .38 special or .45 ACP if we chose to do that. I believe there were almost 10 % of my unit that brought a handgun with us. We were not issued ammo for our rifles when we debarked from the ship at Vung Tau in October 1965. We were not issued any ammo for another two weeks or more.

After we were sent to our forward area we were under mortar and sniper fire for some time. Our CO ordered us to unload our rifles one day when we were taking sniper fire. a few weeks later an edict came down from the PTB at First Division HQ. All personal fire arms were to be registered with the PMO. About a month after that we were ordered to turn in our handguns to the supply sergeant who placed them all in a field safe until we shipped home.

During a resupply convoy the first shirt asked me to drive a cargo ruck but told me there was no additional driver to spare. I said I would go if he would give my revolver back for the duration of the trip. At first he said no but when I told him he might want to look for another driver he relented. He told me that I was to tell no one or show the revolver to on one during the three day mission. Upon return I gave it back to the first sergeant and thanked him for trusting in me. when I returned to CONUS I had to apply for an export permit from the Vietnamese government!

During my time there I had a personally owned M3A1 with 8 magazines of 230 ball ammo along with my M14E2 converted rifle.

All the time I carried a personal firearm I knew that I was taking a chance but my firm belief in providing for my own self outweighed the negative. I also was prepared to deepsix any forearm that was in danger of being discovered.

I had a very interesting time when the USAF "misplaced" my Savage Combo when I was leaving Travis to go to Korea via Japan and it was left sitting at a bus stop at Kashine Barracks bt a japanese civilian bus driver. That will have to come at another time since I have taken to long on this story already.

BTW, I do not suggest that anyone copy what I did since I was extremely lucky and this was back in the mid 50's to mid 60's. There were no metal detectors in those days for one thing. :cool:

Joe Demko
January 30, 2005, 09:52 PM
Uncle will provide you with weapons when he sees fit and of the type he sees fit. Desiring it otherwise will only increase your angst quotient.

MICHAEL T
January 31, 2005, 12:01 AM
I carried my personal Colt Commander as a MP and MPI in the mid 70's with the Provost Marshall blessing. I had a partner in MPI who carried a PPK/s in 380 also approved. Guess we were special. Only requirement was had to use ball. Regular MP's could also buy Police gear Holsters belts ect,plain black or basket weave to ware instead of Army issue crap. We also carried Mag lights rather than night sticks. You could use issue if you wanted or buy your own. Guess what 95% of people did.

Firethorn
January 31, 2005, 12:05 AM
RyanM - I haven't heard that, I actually read an award given to a soldier or marine when he used several AK-47's when he ran out of ammo in his M-16 and M-9.

The problem with using your own gear is that it could open you up to LOAC violations. IE hollowpoints are not allowed.

carebear
January 31, 2005, 12:09 AM
Base commanders have a lot of leeway, and some CO's will play fast and loose in an actual combat zone (or used to, too many eyes around now).

BUT, in general, as said, the answer is no. And like Powderman said, if you appear to be a "Rambo-type," CYA-obsessed senior staff will tend to eyeball you more.

As someone who carried a personal weapon for most of his Reserve time (for bear/moose defense) your career is in your hands if you get caught.

Steve in PA
January 31, 2005, 12:40 AM
I think you got the answers to your questions.

As to your "So, hypothetically speaking, if you took an enemy's rifle and shot him in the face with it before he could draw his sidearm, you'd be charged with murder?"..........your previous questions and this are not the same. In a time of war or similar situation......anything goes. Being in a war type situation is a little different than being on or off base.

HungSquirrel
January 31, 2005, 12:44 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies.

CB900F
January 31, 2005, 01:13 AM
Hung;

In an active war zone, things can be a lot more flexible. The if & how of flexible depends upon your commander. Some of them can be extremely stupid & some will have passed their real-world intelligence test.

900F

psyopspec
January 31, 2005, 01:14 AM
RyanM - I haven't heard that, I actually read an award given to a soldier or marine when he used several AK-47's when he ran out of ammo in his M-16 and M-9.

A captured enemy weapon is just that, as opposed to a weapon that is personally owned.

If it's any comfort, I was never unarmed when it mattered during my time in the reserves, including Iraq. We had our weapons issued before leaving CONUS. I'll never forget the announcement of the flight attendant on the way over. It was a chartered American Airlines flight. Before take off the lady got on the PA system and said, "Ummm ... I never thought I'd make an announcement like this, but please stow your assault rifles under the seats, facing the outside of the aircraft. Thank you."

We were issued ammo when we landed, and turned it in just before leaving. We were always armed when it mattered.

carebear
January 31, 2005, 01:38 AM
Did they send the drink cart around?

Cause, with smoking being banned and all, that'd be as close as you could ever get to a "mile-high" .gov trifecta. :evil:

DMF
January 31, 2005, 01:58 AM
Absolutely no carry of personal weapons on base, regardless of whether you are on or off duty.

If anyone else tells you differently they are setting you up for a whole lot of legal trouble.

DMF
January 31, 2005, 02:10 AM
In an active war zone, things can be a lot more flexible. The if & how of flexible depends upon your commander. Some of them can be extremely stupid & some will have passed their real-world intelligence test. Sorry but this kind of statement can get people in serious legal trouble. For example the only two active combat areas for the US military are in A-stan, and Iraq, both of which are under the control of Central Command (CENTCOM). CENTCOM general order number one specifically prohibits use of personally owned weapons. It is a punitive order, meaning that violating the order could get you prosecuted for a violation of Article 92 of the UCMJ. No commander of any unit in CENTCOM can override that order.

In addition taking weapons in and out of the country could get you in hot water with the feds, on civilian charges. No not the ATF folks, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will not looking kindly on you for sneaking guns in and out of the country. Usually it will only result in hefty fines, but I have know people to get prosecuted.

Don't play around with this. There are too many folks that will crucify you without nails if you are illegally carrying a personally owned firearm.

Luckyorwhat
January 31, 2005, 03:07 AM
Firethorn: "The problem with using your own gear is that it could open you up to LOAC violations. IE hollowpoints are not allowed."

...But it's for increased accuracy...

nick89302
January 31, 2005, 03:24 AM
Give up almost all hope of owning any firearms if you're stationed overseas. Nevermind, I see you're going to be a reservist. Change that to deployed overseas to someplace like Germany or England where you'll fill in for some AD guy who gets sent downrange.

FunGunner
January 31, 2005, 03:48 AM
Kept my arms in my car while in never had any problems. Didn't talk about them, didn't show them off or anything else silly. Just followed the golden rule of the military, "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, unless you absolutely have to open it"

Langenator
January 31, 2005, 11:30 AM
As stated previously, CENTCOM General Order Number One, in I believe the first paragraph, says no personally owned weapons in theater.

That being said, my wife is a Reservist, in Civil Affairs. She knows folks in the CA and Psyops community. One of her friends carried a Makarov, one that had been taken from a dead BG, around with him for most of his tour in Iraq. In addition to his M-16. There's a pic somewhere on this board of a Marine carrying a PPSh-41.

As far as weapons on base, CCW is not allowed, and if you're moving weapons around, they need to be unloaded and in the trunk. If you live in the barracks, they will stay in the arms room and be registered with the Provost Marshall (head MP), unless you arrange to store them off post somewhere. If your post has a POW range (most stateside posts do, with varying availability times-Ft Lewis was Fri-Sun, Ft Bennings was every day in spring and summer-going shooting at lunch was quite fun) you'll have to register your guns if you want to shoot there. Policy on weapons in post family housing varies by post-it wasn't allowed at Benning or Lewis, but Jackson allows it (registration required.)

moa
January 31, 2005, 01:39 PM
I remember years ago at DC National Airport seeing a Special Forces troop walking around the the terminal carrying an AK47. This was in 1966 as I was shipping off to Fort Knox. I figured he was in transit from Vietnam with a war trophy.

Old NFO
January 31, 2005, 01:40 PM
Langeator hit the nail on the head... here is a link to the Quantico MB Instruction- http://www.quantico.usmc.mil/g1/adj/mcb/08000_1.pdf
it is pretty much the standard. Having said that, we used to carry personal weapons on fight status. I carried a Browning HP in place of the old Victory .38 that was issued, they were kept with our flight gear at all times. I've also takled to a couple of guys just back from Falluja, and they were carrying AK's in addition to M-16's.
jim

CAS700850
January 31, 2005, 01:45 PM
It's like everything else in the military, all of the rules aren't as strictly enforced when the bullets are flying. So, since it is a shooting war, the brass turns a bit of a blind eye to a soldier packing a .38 from home in addition to his M-249. At teh same time, remember RHIR/RHIP, meaning Rank Has Its Responsibilities/Rank Has Its Privileges. An officer can often get away with something a little more easily than a non-com.

MillCreek
January 31, 2005, 02:15 PM
My wife was in the Navy for twenty years, retiring in 2000. She finished her career as a HMC (SW). That is a chief medical corpsman, for all the non-Navy types. She did three tours of duty as an IDC: one shore and two ship assignments, both on Spruance-class destroyers. An IDC is an independent duty corpsman, which is somewhat like a sea-going physicians assistant. They provide the medical care on board the smaller ships, such as submarines, destoyers and frigates and on remote shore stations.

On both her ship IDC tours, she was allowed to have a personal weapon, albeit it was stored in the armory on board. The rationale was so that if she had to go ashore as a field medic, she would have a personal weapon available. I asked if that if it had to be issue vs. personally-owned, and she replied that the chief Gunners Mate, who ran the armories on board, would allow either for a fellow chief. I do not know how that comports with any official Naval Regulations, but I do understand about the old-chiefs network.

Langenator
February 1, 2005, 09:20 AM
An officer can often get away with something a little more easily than a non-com.

Actually, my wife's friend is an E-4, probably E-5 now. And most of the pictures I've seen of troops carrying captured weaponry have been of enlisted linedogs on the pointy end of the spear.

isp2605
February 1, 2005, 09:54 AM
"Nevermind, I see you're going to be a reservist. Change that to deployed overseas to someplace like Germany or England where you'll fill in for some AD guy who gets sent downrange."

Don't bet on it. Guys from my old Guard unit (I retired in 2000) have been and are currently downrange in Afghanistan and Iraq. In stan they were out hunting bad guys. One has gotten the Bronze Star with V.
Last figures I saw indicated about 2/3 of the boots on the ground in stan are Guard and Reserves. If a person thinks going into a Guard or Reserve unit is going to keep them out of the heat of it then they better think again. One small Guard transportation unit near me has lost 5 of their soldiers to enemy action. 2 of them have been women.

280PLUS
February 1, 2005, 03:47 PM
I helped land a bunch of Marines and a few SEALs in an exercise on Mindinao once. They were carrying arms but were supposed to either have blanks or no ammo I don't recall. They all had live ammo. Their reasoning was, "I'm not going into that jungle with no live ammo."

I couldn't argue that one with them.

FunGunner
February 1, 2005, 05:14 PM
"I'm not going into that jungle with no live ammo."
Said the same thing while at Fort Sherman, Panama.

carebear
February 1, 2005, 05:28 PM
Took us 10 years but we finally got our command to authorize shotguns for patrolling. First civilian 870's, now the M4's.

Before then, we were carrying personal weapons (sometimes winked at, sometimes not) or violating the BIG rule by toting along personal mags and ammo for the rifles.

Moose and bear are not things I wanted to face with nothing more than a blank and a cleaning rod section.

It was safety versus officer risk-aversion.

fistful
February 1, 2005, 08:08 PM
While at Fort Hood, (97-2000) staying in the barracks, I kept my guns in a storage locker a few miles away OFF POST. Other than knives below a certain length, nothing normally considered a weapon was allowed on post. I kept a broomstick or something standing in a corner, just in case I needed to beat someone down.

Also, your weapons will not be very secure in a barracks, unless you have a room to yourself. Ours were like dorm rooms - irresponsible young men roaming in and out, often drunk, often in debt and needing something to pawn.

DO NOT keep your guns in your car. Awful advice. Ours were searched every few months, along with our rooms. You can bring a weapon on post, you just have to carry it unloaded in the trunk, and go directly to register it with Provost. You'll need to have a good reason, like using it on a POW range.

And Infantry don't carry sidearms, unless they are company commanders, first seargents, or similar.

Onmilo
February 1, 2005, 09:42 PM
Having talked to several guys from 2ID and 10th Mountain the rule is don't carry a personal firearm.
A big bonk on your career will come your way if you are caught.
Soldiers are still doing it but it isn't recommended.
Handguns are cheap and available just about everywhere in Iraq and the temptation to purchase a little rememberance of hell is there.

The Military is treating every single combat action as a crime scene now and they consider personally owned weapons as potential throw down to justify the shooting items.
Bad Ju-Ju to get caught with one.

fistful
February 1, 2005, 11:33 PM
Bad Ju-Ju! Bad!

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