Military and privately own firearms


April 18, 2003, 06:19 PM
Hey All, it's been a while... actually I haven't been online at all much since TFL shut down... does anyone here have experience with being in the military and owning private guns? It seems that it's really a whole lot more trouble than it's worth... different state laws, post regulations. Besides, "excuse me, Mr. Burglar/Murderer/Rapist/Annoyance, while I fetch my gun out of the armory down the street, please wait..." doesn't work for me either. And in NY, for example, I won't be able to carry it off post, so what's the point? So I'm thinking I should just let my father-in-law hang on to my pistol for me :(

Any advice?

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April 18, 2003, 07:18 PM
When in the Navy, we were allowed to own personal firearms. People living in off-base housing could keep the firearms in their home. People living on base had to store the firearms in the base armory and check them out when they wanted to shoot them. I was on a submarine and we were allowed to essentially do the same thing. The firearms could be stored in the submarine's small arms locker and checked out when we wanted to shoot them.

April 18, 2003, 07:24 PM
Well, see, that's what I'm wondering about... take my first post after training - Ft. Drum, NY. I would have to get a license just to OWN my gun in NY if I live off-post, and I think it's impossible to actually carry one there (but I don't really know much about NY state laws). If/when we live on-post, I don't see why having my gun in the armory would do me much good, except that I would get to shoot it every now and then. And I don't know if I want to deal with having it shipped all around when I go elsewhere. On the other hand, the thought of leaving it behind makes me :(

J Miller
April 18, 2003, 07:25 PM
I was on a submarine and we were allowed to essentially do the same thing. The firearms could be stored in the submarine's small arms locker and checked out when we wanted to shoot them.

Ah, where would you shoot a gun on a sub? Wait till it surfaced and shoot at jellyfish or something?
Don't know why, but this struck me a bit funny :confused:.

Sorry I just had to ask.

J Miller, Son of a Squid.

April 18, 2003, 07:38 PM

I was stationed in Saratoga Springs, NY while undergoing training. While living there, I purchased a rifle from a local dealer and kept it in my (civilian owned) rented apartment. All that was needed was my military ID card and Florida driver's license. At that time, there was no possibility of having a handgun or a CCW, so I left all of my other firearms at my parent's house.

Living on a military base, it's really up to the base commander. Most likely, that means no firearms other than what are stored in the armory. Self-protection is out the window. Unless you enjoy target shooting, it's not worth the hassle to take guns with you.

Ah, where would you shoot a gun on a sub?

Preferably on the outside. Actually, we would either go to the range on base (if it had one) or to an off base range or to private property with owner's permission.

Wait till it surfaced and shoot at jellyfish or something?

Oddly enough, we carried M16s, 870 shotguns and 1911s on the submarine. We were required to re-qualify with them periodically. Since we also spent many-many weeks under water, this could be a problem. We would actually surface out in the middle of the ocean, go topside and fire a magazine into the water. Re-qualification Complete, Passed. :)

Leaky Waders
April 18, 2003, 08:05 PM

I am active duty...

The firearms on base does indeed vary from base to base and commander to commander...stating that the following general comments apply:

*basically no personal firearms are allowed to be stored in the barracks - these persons are usually permitted to store them in the base armory.

*persons who live on base may-be permitted to keep their personal firearms in their house (this varies based upon local instruction). Presently mine are kept onbase in my house locked in a safe or trigger locked as per instructions w/ ammunition stored in a different area.

*w/ the exception of .22's orr blackpowder rifles are not to be hunted w/ on base - we use shotguns mostly which pleases me being a duckhunter and all.

*there's a skeet range on base here, but not a rifle pistol range - so you have to off base to plink with those weaps. Many bases have skeet ranges - some are even operational.

*If you exit or enter the base w/ a weapon then your supposed to inform the guard at the gate so he doesn't freak out when he finds it.

*all firearms in this areas base housing are logged into security w/ there make and serial number - the form is kept locally and updated as needed when you purchase or sell a weap.

So to sum it need to check the local instruction of where you will be stationed. Of course if you live off-base, then you just follow the local ordances...going overseas can be a pain and I usually just store them at my inlaws and parents houses 'til I return.

L. W.

April 19, 2003, 09:56 AM
My experience owning firearms while on active duty was like this:

Soldiers in barracks are allowed to own them. I lived in the barracks and my commander allowed me to keep them off post at my girlfriend's house. I had a very cool commander so this may be different for others. If a weapon is to be kept or used on post it has to registered with the Provost Marshall's office. If you don't plan on bringing it on post then you just need to worry about state laws. Buying is relatively easy. Usually, you just need your military ID and orders assigning you to whichever post you happen to be assigned to.
Ft. Sill, OK allows rifle hunting on post and I think Hood does as well. Sill actually has a lottery every year for Elk tags. Both of those posts have fairly good facilities for privately owned weapons, although Sill has a dedicated range facility and Hood's is connected to the post zero range.

April 19, 2003, 10:22 AM
to the gunners mate and stored in the small arms locker,


the pistol range on a submarine is all the way down the passageway on the left just past the beer machine and the bowling alley. across from the space with the pool tables...


gee, some peeps don't know nuttin'


April 19, 2003, 05:18 PM
Thanks guys! Good info... today I'm thinkin' I want to take it with me, tomorrow I may change my mind again... guess I'll wait and see how I feel when the time comes! In the mean time, I'll go shooting as often as I can (not that I imagine I'll be lacking opportunities in the Army) :cool:

April 20, 2003, 01:14 AM
Why yes I do.

Of course being where Im at now I have no firearms in my possession.

But, at my last base and the one Im returning to in 44 days (DMAFB AZ) I have all of my firearms at home. I live in base housing. Dont have to store them at the armory. I just had to register them with the Security Forces. I have a CCW permit for Arizona and wear my weapon all the time when I leave base. When I come back on base I have to unload it. They also requir the ammo and pistol to be seperated but since Im a mini Van driver I just put the mags in the door storage area and the weapon under the passengers seat storage area. Have been random checked 3 times in 2 years there and every time I got out I told them that I am a CCW permit holder and my weapon is in the vehicle unloaded. They are cool with that as long as I identify the weapon and its location.

People living on base in the dorms have to secure their weapons in the armory or off base at a friends house. No weapons are allowed in the dormatories.

You are required to let the gate guard know that your in possession of a weapon. Watch their demeanor change when you say your in possesion of a weapon. I came thru one day and a E-2 was on duty and when I told him I had my weapon on board he got all nervous. Called over the E5 and after I told him he said it was cool and to press on.

Now, back in Georgia you were only allowed to have a weapon on board entering the base if you were going hunting or to the range. No stops in between the hunting/shooting area and off base. Very tight rules there for weapons in possesion on base.

Bottom line is call the Security Forces or MP/SP LE desk and ask specific questions on whats required. Be sure you know the rules.

April 20, 2003, 05:40 PM

your best bet is to contact the PMO (Provost Marshal's Office). The Ft. Drum MP Non -emergency number is: (315)-772-5156. They can give you the PMO's number. If you know what unit you'll be joining, you should also be able to ask the BN S-2 shop.


Browns Fan
April 20, 2003, 08:32 PM
Bottom line: if you're active duty it is up to the commander's disgression if you can buy/own a firearm.

April 21, 2003, 02:15 AM
The firearms could be stored in the submarine's small arms locker and checked out when we wanted to shoot them

What boat were you on, HKmp5sp? And how long ago was this? And how did you get it through the front gate? When I was on my boat out in Groton, I couldn't see this happening...but, that could be the new kindler, gentler Navy...

When I runned off to defend my country and eat ice cream and watch movies, I left my guns at my dads house:

While I was gone, he sold my pre '64 Model 70 to a buddy for $125, because the guy told him that was a good price.

Learn from my mistakes...don't leave your guns with other people!!!!

April 21, 2003, 06:21 AM

USS Bremerton SSN-698.

I was in Groton for a little while and the base even allowed me to possess a .45 black powder handgun in my barracks room. Transported it from Groton to Florida on the submarine and left it with my parents before heading to the Indian Ocean.

April 21, 2003, 12:09 PM
Nothing to add to the topic of this thread, just wanted to chime in as another former submariner: USS George C. Marshall SSBN-654 (1970-1975). Home port was Groton, CT.

April 21, 2003, 05:15 PM
Well, I was on the USS Seawolf(SSN-21) from 1995-2000, ans how is this for a sad state of affairs:

By that time in Groton, I wasn't even allowed to have a microwave in my room, because too many people were setting bags of popcorn on fire...

Blackhawk 6
April 21, 2003, 08:34 PM

I was stationed at Ft. Drum,had POW's and lived both on and off-post. BAD NEWS: Because of New York State Law, you are required to have a permit to bring a handgun into the state. GOOD NEWS: Jefferson County issues permits regularly (or they did), though it does take some time. I believe there is a provision to store handguns on post if you do not have a permit but I do not recall the exact details. Your best bet would be to contact the Provost Marshall.

If you live on post, the weapon will be required to be registered with the Provost Marshall's Office and that will require your commander's signature. Likewise if you intend to hunt with any of your weapons on post.

If you reside in the barracks, you will be required to store your weapon in the company arms room or off post. You will not have unrestricted access to the weapon if it is in the arms room and will be required to secure your commander's permission each time you want to take it out. Your commander will be required to account for your weapon when he conducts monthly inventories of the Arms Room.

If you live off-post and do not bring your weapon on post you will have no registration requirement from the military.

Hope this helps.


April 21, 2003, 09:59 PM
Thanks Kevin! I went to the Ft. Drum website, and that's what made me think that NY state laws were pretty ridiculous. Well, since I'm going to basic and AIT first, I'll have to leave it with my father-in-law (don't trust my husband with it - he's HORRIBLE when it comes to taking care of guns: he cleans them about as much as he cleans his office! :uhoh: ) Then when I get to Ft. Drum, I'll know whether we get on-post housing or not, and then I'll figure out if it's really worth all the hassle.... who'd a thunk that the MILITARY would make it hard for me to own a gun!!

Were you with the 10th Mtn Division?

Blackhawk 6
April 21, 2003, 10:01 PM
Yes. I was with 1-22 IN, redesignated 1-32 IN, from 1995 to 1997.

April 21, 2003, 10:02 PM
Did you go to mountain warfare school, and was it as amazing fun as it looks? :D

Blackhawk 6
April 21, 2003, 10:05 PM
I went to the winter phase of Mountain Warfare School run by the Vermont Army National Guard. It was one of the best courses I have taken in the military. Great fun and I learned a lot too.

Leaky Waders
April 21, 2003, 10:33 PM
Just's untrue that a Commander can keep you from owning a legal firearm, vehicle, dog, wife etc...

However, he/she can limit your use/storage/possession of those items on base. (Ever try to store a dog in a coffin locker - it's not pretty ;) )

So anyone who can legally own a firearm can do so - whether he/she can store/transport/use it onbase follows local instructions/orders/directives (i.e. the Commanding Officer's discretion).


April 22, 2003, 07:30 AM
priv8ter: Yes, it does sound like times have changed. I never lived in the barracks in Groton (was already married) but I worked once in while as a Master-at-Arms, and remember when beer machines were installed. Budweiser was $.25.

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