Got a Dilemma -- Need Advice


December 27, 2006, 07:28 AM
OK, here's the problem.

I'm an Army officer. I will be heading to San Antonio, TX, for about 9 weeks of training at Ft. Sam Houston. Says in the regs (confirmed via command staff) that no student can bring a privately owned firearm to FSH, period.

Of course, I got the weekends free, and can go out to see the sights. However, while the Army can tell me "no guns" while I'm on-base, I'll be damned if I'm gonna be disarmed while walking around off-base (especially since I will have family visiting while I'm training). So, I've wracked my head trying to come up with a solution to this dilemma. The best thing I can think of is to store a pistol at an off-base location, pick the pistol up from there, and return it before heading back to base. The question is: where? Anybody have any ideas? Suggestions from folks in San Antonio are especially welcome (if you know of specific sites).

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December 27, 2006, 09:26 AM
Safety deposit box, in a bank.

December 27, 2006, 09:32 AM
I bet if ya ask real nice a local gun club may let a military guy store his guns in their safe. Not sure the policy at the club I go to but I can imagine those guys helping a guy like you out. All they can say is "nope."

December 27, 2006, 10:50 AM
I'm on the other side of town, but if you run out of options, you can use my safe. We'd just have to coordinate on when you'd pick up/drop off...

December 27, 2006, 04:17 PM
I've run into similar type problems working on military installations for years, and have yet to come up with a good solution. I have thought might be a business opportunity for someone to have a place to deposit weapons while on the installation. The idea I had would be something akin to the lockers you see at airports, where you could lock up your weapon and take the key with you, except a lot more heavy duty than those lockers. I have seen ideal "lockers" when I was being escorted into the secure area of the County Jail by an officer to be finger printed (don't worry, the officer was a friend of mine and the finger prints were for a CHL). there was a bank of lockers in a wall where he unlocked the door, placed his pistol in, and locked it back up while we were inside. He retreived it on our way back out. Put one of these setups in something similar to Mail Boxes Etc looking place near the gate, and might get quite a bit of traffic from the concealed carry crowd (I know I'm bound not to be the only CHL going on Post). Just don't know of any such thing in existance is the problem.
Wonder if the local Provost Marshall's Office might have any suggestions?

December 27, 2006, 04:36 PM
I don't live in SA, but around here (DFW area) there are several ranges, such as the one I haunt (The Shooters Club, Fort Worth) that will gladly store your guns for you for a very small fee (50 cents per day, $6/month or $55/year). The guns are fully insured and available for pick-up 7 days a week during business hours.

You might check and see if there are any ranges/clubs in the SA area close to base that offer such services.

El Tejon
December 27, 2006, 04:40 PM
Can you put a safe in one of those self-storage units?:confused:

December 27, 2006, 05:30 PM
Does the base have a shooting club? They would probably be the best folks to help with this.

December 28, 2006, 01:01 AM
The best cure for a dilemma is knowledge; advise sometimes falls short.

December 28, 2006, 09:17 AM
This is not advice on what to do, but just something to think about...many of the officers I served with were very good at hiding a small firearm in their vehicle in very unusual locations. Granted, this was in the pre-9/11 days, and security at checkpoints was far less than it is these days. Some even managed to do this at overseas postings...

December 28, 2006, 09:27 AM
Rent a small storge space at one of the storage rental locations and buy a hand gun safe that you could secure somehow to the walls or floor so it won't walk as easily if someone broke into the main lock door. Those places are usually all around military bases.

December 28, 2006, 11:37 AM
This may be a stupid question, but why don't you store it in the base armory? My friend is an officer in the Navy and when he travels, that is what he does. Just turns it in at the front gate and picks it up when he leaves. That is that, he siad it is usually pretty painless.

Maybe there are different rules for you or I am misunderstanding the issue.

December 28, 2006, 01:54 PM

Storage on-post, at the armory, is allowed only to soldiers who are permanent-party or permanent party who are living on-post. [For the life of me, I can't think why anyone would want to store a firearm at the base armory if they're living off-post, unless they're ordered to do so.]

I understand that I could possibly get a waiver to store a handgun at the armory, but I couldn't retrieve it during the course. In other words, turn it in when I get there, retrieve it 9 weeks later. I might as well just leave it where it is for the duration.

December 28, 2006, 03:19 PM
You are a commissioned officer correct? You will be staying with your family I assume in gorernment quarters corect? I don't see what the problem one will be inspecing your quarters and peaking into your wife's lingerie drawer, so whats the problem? Don't ask, don't tell! Been there did that back when.

December 28, 2006, 04:01 PM

I assume you're licensed to carry in Texas? Do you know anyone else stationed in the area that lives off base that could store it for you while you're there? I did that one time during an extended TDY period, had a buddy that lived off base with his family hold it for me.

loadedround: You are a commissioned officer correct? You will be staying with your family I assume in gorernment quarters corect? I don't see what the problem one will be inspecing your quarters and peaking into your wife's lingerie drawer, so whats the problem? Don't ask, don't tell! Been there did that back when.

That is a sure way to lose your career in the Army. You don't want to get caught on base with an unauthorized firearm. For some reason the military is very anti-gun and they have all kinds of silly rules on base. Not to mention the random vehicle searches as you come through the gate.

December 28, 2006, 06:42 PM
I had 2 AR-15's in the BEQ at Ft Leanardwood MO and I'm a jar head, as long as you don't open carry with it, you'll be fine. Or get a lock box that mounts in the trunk of the car and just pile some luggage over it.

December 28, 2006, 07:20 PM
check with the rod and gun club if they dont store maybe they can steer you to a club that can !

December 28, 2006, 08:24 PM
The best and safest suggestion to your military career, so far is that you check with local gun clubs/ranges to see if they will store the weapon for you. Another excellent alternative is paying for a small storage locker at one of the "you store it" places.

Being an Army officer there is no doubt you will not willingly and knowingly, with forethought, violate any installation policy. After all, how could you enforce similar rules that in the future may be broken by your soldiers. :neener: :evil:

Regards and Happy New Year,


USA Retired

December 28, 2006, 08:55 PM
What Monkeybear said:
Rent a safety deposit box at a nearby bank.

December 28, 2006, 09:58 PM
Does your local Law Enforcement Agency offer weapons storage? Here at University of Florida guns aren't allowed on campus. Those that live on campus can store their arms with University PD and check them in and out when they go shooting (luckily I live off campus and don't have to worry about this).

I also like the idea of storing it in a banks Safety Deposit box. You are alone in the room when you access your box so it wouldn't be like you are waving it around in a crowded bank. Perhaps you could use both methods. Store all but your carry gun at the local PD if they'll let you and you carry piece in a safety deposit box that you can access easily.

A lock box securily mounted to the inside your vehicles trunk is also a good idea.

December 29, 2006, 07:56 AM
If I may jump in and clarify what ForeignDude is saying.

Since he is an Army officer, if enlisted it would not matter. And will be attending a professional development school on Ft Sam Houston, he cannot take a firearm with him to school. Not only does this mean "to school" but on the installation proper as well. Most Army posts that I am aware of have this rule - if you are in student status you are NOT allowed to bring POW's, Personally Owned Weapons, with you period.

This rule or regulation is not necessarily due to the command being anti gun, but a simple logistical issue IMO. Having POW's on government installations creates extra work for the command - storage, records keeping, and someone having to lock and unlock it as the owner requires it.

Therefore most, actually all, commands that I am aware of do not allow students/training personal to bring POWs with them.

I know all this seems stupid considering all the responsibility today’s military member has, but what you can get away with in a combat zone and at home are two different things.

If for some reason ForeignDude were to say what the heck "I'll just keep my gun with me anyway". And if it were found for whatever reason in his possession on post, for example in the trunk of his car, he would be open for UCMJ punishment. I am not sure how likely this would be to happen but I sure would not want to chance it. Plus he is an Officer, and there's all that stuff about setting the example and all that.

Since he is a student and the post has a no firearms for student policy. I am sure that the Provost Marshal's office (MP's) will not likely accept even temporarily ForeignDude's firearm/s for storage. So in order to comply with the regulations it will be necessary to keep the firearm off the installation at all times.

<Now just thinking out loud - I wonder how the command would deal with the issue if something happened off post and it was discovered by the command that a firearm was involved>

Remember Big Boy Rules.

Happy New Year,


December 29, 2006, 12:29 PM
Summarizes the dilemma rather well.

I'll be on student status, so my family will not be with me (they'll visit, but won't be living with me).

Besides, I'm not looking to break the rules -- just to work around the rules as the command has defined them. All I need is a UCMJ prosecution and a dishonorable discharge; then I'll be screwed for life, as far as firearms possession is concerned.

December 29, 2006, 01:02 PM
The problem is easy access close to Fort Sam. Most ranges are a signficant distance away. A self-storage with small lockers sounds best to me. Banks aren't always going to be conveniently open or are stores. Near Fort Sam are some gun stores - Durys and Nagels - maybe they have dealt with this before.

Anyway - if you have free weekends - try some of the local matches.

Gun Geezer
December 29, 2006, 01:14 PM
:) I had the same (almost) issue.

I had transferred jobs and could not leave my carry gun in the company car I had or have it at the office. I likewise did not want to leave it in the hotel room.

So, I rented a 24-hour access storage for $25/month. It was close to the hotel I stayed at for 2-months so it was easy to do! I left a few other items in there too, but all I needed was a closet sized space for the golf clubs, bow, and other "contraband" toys.

The "Best" storage had no rules about firearms or ammo. I am sure there is one in San Antonio.

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