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Commanders Can Ask About Privately Owned Guns

Discussion in 'Legal' started by RetiredUSNChief, Jan 10, 2013.

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  1. kwguy

    kwguy Member

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    I believe that back in 2011, the concern was gathering data for the VA? But this seems to clarify specifically that the chain of command can ask about weapons for servicemembers they feel are at risk for suicide, since the suicide rate has been high. As mentioned above, they've been doing this anyway (and have been for many years), but I guess the question must have come up somewhere, hence the clarification.
     
  2. 4thHorseman

    4thHorseman Member

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    Hey guys, all they are doing is asking. You can always refuse to answer the question. Anybody can ask anyone any question. No law against that. It is your choice to answer it or not.
    In actuality, it would be blatant disregard for a commanding officer not to ask if he/she really cares about the welfare of the people working for him/her.
     
  3. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I don't see how it can be phrased as a request and still be an order. I don't see how you can legally refuse to obey an order. A request is something else entirely. I guess a lot depends on just what the legislation actually says and just how the question is "asked".

    In any case as I understand this, it only applies in cases where a service member is suspected of having suicidal or homicidal urges. I don't see how that is as much of a problem as some might try to make it out to be.

    Besides, as I understand the rules, if you live on base you generally can't keep personal weapons on base except under military control and if you live off base they can make you come back.
     
  4. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    To the OPs original question though, this is nothing new. We were doing the same thing in the mid 90s at Ft. Riley. No real reason for it, it wasn't a roundup, it was just a health and welfare thing.
     
  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    A commanding officer has quite a sweeping range of authority over those under his command. He can require quite a lot that people not familiar with this don't understand.

    Now, I fully recognize the difference between a CO issuing orders and a CO issuing orders that are ineffective because they cannot be reasonably enforced or verified.

    A CO may, indeed, require all those under his command report whether or not they have personal firearms, even if it isn't servicemember specific. He may do so because this is simply part of his "suicide awareness training" because of an increase, or isolated instance of, suicides at either his command or even service wide.

    This does not mean, however, that all servicemembers will comply, or tell the truth if they do answer up.
     
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