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News > Strict rules apply to having personal firearms on base
Strict rules apply to having personal firearms on base

Posted 3/10/2010   Updated 3/10/2010 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Gonzales
71st Security Forces Squadron Police Services

3/10/2010 - VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Firearms serve many purposes and are used in various ways, from sport shooting and hunting to protection. For people living on Vance AFB, there are rules and regulations for having firearms on base.

The bottom line -- you cannot bring firearms, concealed or not, onto Vance unless going to or from your on-base residence or where they are stored.

Per Department of Defense Instruction 5200.08, the wing commander is granted "the responsibility and authority to enforce appropriate security measures to ensure the protection of DOD property and personnel assigned, attached, or subject to their control."

Vance Installation Security Instruction 31-101 states "no person shall bring onto this installation, or while on this installation have in their possession, any firearm or other dangerous weapon."

The Vance instruction also states, "Concealment of firearms or dangerous weapons on one's person, other than firearms or dangerous weapons authorized by the 71st Security Forces Squadron commander, the installation commander or higher authority, is prohibited."

Violations of these orders can and will be prosecuted with up to one year imprisonment under Title 50 U.S.C. Section 797, or through Article 92, "Failure to Obey Order or Regulation."

There are two exceptions to these rules for those who live on base. First, you can transport personal firearms to and from an off-base location and an on-base storage facility. The second is for armed personnel performing official security and law enforcement duties.

When transporting personal firearms to and from on-base storage, you cannot make any addition stops. Stopping on base for gas, money, food or any other business while a firearm is in your vehicle is a major security violation.

When bringing your firearm through the base gate, advise the entry controller that you have a firearm in the vehicle, where the firearm is and where you are taking it. The firearm and ammunition must be stored separately within the vehicle with one or the other out of reach.

Storing the firearm in the trunk and the ammunition in the glove box, or vice versa, is the best way. The idea is to make it almost impossible to put the two together while seated in your vehicle. Security Forces will verify if the firearm is registered on base and allow you to proceed to base housing or to the Security Forces armory for storage.

You cannot store a firearm in government-owned dormitories or lodging facilities, according to AFI 31-101. Vance ISI 31-101 identifies these facilities to include enlisted dormitories, unaccompanied officer private housing, visiting officers' quarters, visiting Airmen's quarters and temporary lodging facilities.

There are three acceptable ways of storing your firearms if you live on base. First, store your firearm off the installation. If you chose this option, you do not have to register your firearm on base.

Second, you can store firearms in base housing, and third, at the Security Forces armory on a space-available basis. If you choose one of the on-base options, you need to register your firearms on base. This requires completion of an Air Force Form 1314. While storing your firearms at the armory, a joint inspection of the firearms will be conducted between the owner and armorer. A history check will be run on the firearm to see if it has been lost, stolen, or used in illegal activity. The armory will only take handguns and long guns. Swords, cross bows and other weapons will not be accepted.

The history check is not required for firearms stored in base housing. Firearms stored in base housing will be unloaded, with a trigger-locking device in place and stored out of reach from children or locked in a storage container.

Bottom line - personal firearms are not allowed on Vance AFB except for transporting to and from storage, and then no additional stops can be made. There are three options available for firearm storage -- off base, on base in housing, or at the Security Forces armory.

For more information, contact the Base Defense Operations Center, 213-7862, or the 71st SFS Combat Arms section, 213-7147.

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