Military dependents bringing guns on post to shoot


June 27, 2005, 06:46 PM
Reading the recent post about active duty bringing personally-owned firearms on post made me think about a related issue. I could not find anything really on point by doing a search, so thought I would post a new thread.

I am in the Puget Sound area and am a military dependent. If I wanted to go shooting at a military facility range that allows dependents during the off hours, are there any particular rules that are broadly applicable, or am I best advised to contact each facility to learn their requirements? And which office would I contact? The post Provost Marshal for the Army? The post Master at Arms for the Navy? I am of course assuming that if a range allows use by dependents, the facility must surely allow said dependents to bring their own firearms onto the base. Every time I drive into Naval Station Everett, there are large signs at the entry gates pointing out that all firearms must be disclosed prior to entry.

Thanks for any pointers.

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June 27, 2005, 07:28 PM
Contact the Provost Marshall's office or equivilant. They will be able to tell you what the regs are for that particular post. Each branch of service and each post within each branch is different.

June 27, 2005, 07:33 PM
On my post (and apparently the Army is the strictiest), but anyway, if you are a dependent, you have to have a "sponsor", or someone to have the guns registered in their name for you.

For example, if your dad was the serviceman, he would register them under his name, and both he AND you would be authorized on the registration card to possess them on-post.

ETA: Also, if you do anything wrong with them, he is also liable and can be punished under UCMJ.

June 27, 2005, 08:34 PM
of a retired US Navy officer and I regularly shoot at the Schofield Rod and Gun Club at the ranges on Schofield Army Base in Hawaii.

The procedures may vary in other places but here is was pretty simple. I just had to take the registration paperwork (full registration for ALL firearms here in paradise) to the same office where you get your base car sticker, spend a bit of time chatting with the nice lady while filling our a form and having her enter the data in a computer. She then stamps the form and I'm on my way. I just keep the forms in my range bag.

I didn't have to have any "sponsorship" because I already have base access because I am a military dependant. My wife's best friend also belongs to the Gun Club. She is sponsored onto the base, as are all the other members with no military connection, by the club through the base MWR department.


June 27, 2005, 11:09 PM
Hmm, the above poster sounds pretty similar to my situation: I am the husband of a a retired Navy CPO, and as such, pretty much have full base access. The two closest facilities with decent ranges are either Whidbey NAS or Ft. Lewis. I will have to check on the registration issue, since we don't really have firearms registration here in Washington state.

June 27, 2005, 11:15 PM
I'm here at NAS Whidbey and from everything I know, there is no using the range on base. It's actually over by the golf course. I asked my husband if we could shoot out there but he said it's for quals and such only. We live only a few miles from there and I run past it on the beach. Heck, they even close the beach during quals.

So, don't make the trip up, you can't use it.

I go shooting at the gun club anyway. Much better.

June 28, 2005, 12:00 AM
it's not Whidbey but it is Ft. Lewis....

Ft. Lewis Outdoor Recreation ( If you call the number listed for the range they should be able to tell you what you need to do to legally get your firearms onto the base to shoot.

Hope it helps....


June 28, 2005, 12:30 AM
Each AF installation has very broad general guidance from it's MAJCOM and NAF and makes whatever Instruction that it feels necessary to add to the "guidance" from higher HQ.

If you are allowed base access ie, active duty, retiree or dependent, most AF installations do not care one way or the other if you enter to go to the Rod and Gun for a few rounds of trap or skeet, only requiring registration if the weapon stays on the installation. Non service connected personnel are required to be escorted onto the installation and the escort would be responsible for you while on the installation, generally for a registered shoot or similar function

Not allowed to store the weapons in your vehicle so it's a shoot and leave proposition for the most part, unless you have someone to stay with the vehicle while you take care of your business.


June 28, 2005, 09:20 AM
Shorts, that is a bummer! I have some friends who were stationed at NAS Whidbey, and they tell me that the pistol range is not bad, and has a beautiful view. I understand that anyone who has to qualify at Naval Station Everett has to go up to Whidbey as being the closest pistol range. I thought that Whidbey had another facility at the outlying landing field, too, but I could be mistaken about that.

And migoi, thanks for the link to range 15. I had actually been there a couple of times in competition. Ft. Lewis is a good 120 mile round trip and $ 12 worth of gas, so it would be more cost-effective for me to find someplace closer. There is always the indoor range at Sam's, a civilian range by Paine Field in Everett, where I have a membership, but in the good weather, it can be nice to shoot outdoors, too.

I don't know if McChord AFB has anything, but they are just as far as Ft. Lewis from here. A very long time ago, back during WWII and before the Jim Creek installation went ELF, they had a range, but the range was dismantled back in the early 60's, I believe, and given that it is now an outdoor recreation site, they probably would not be putting in a new range anytime soon. More's the pity.

June 28, 2005, 10:36 AM
There was a range on base open to the public. Drive right onto post and then to the range, no questions asked. In fact a main road runs right through the base right up to Savannah!

I'd love to know what changed, and what it's like there now.

Old Dog
June 28, 2005, 10:40 AM
MillCreek, Fort Lewis' Range 15 may be worth a trip for you, at least once during the summer. It's an excellent range and I can tell you that the NWSA range or Green's in Oak Harbor or anything on the East Sound side isn't even comparable ... On weekends, at least during the mornings and early afternoon, Range 15 is never crowded (in fact, my shooting buddies and I are often the only ones there for the first hour or two after opening). You can even get to range from the east side (through the Spanaway area) without having to go through a gate. Technically, all weapons you bring to the range must be registered with the MPs (although the rangemaster has never questioned me or anyone I know about this and I'm sure this policy is inadvertently violated occasionally), but AFAIK, this is just some local paper that the MPs keep in a file somewhere ...

Having been assigned to a NASWI unit for a time, I concur that it's a shame the base doesn't open that underutilized range for everyone. Although the Trap & Skeet Club there is pretty nice ...

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