In the November 2017 Proceedings, I suggested the Secretary of the Navy implement Section 4 provisions of Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5210.56, “Arming and the Use of Force.” Those provisions allow for “carrying of privately owned firearms on DoD property by DoD personnel for personal protection purposes that are not associated with the performance of official duties.” Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SecNavInst) 5500.37 was released in May 2019, but as evidenced by the recent insider-threat terrorist attack at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, the Navy’s response can be characterized as “too little, too late.”
1. OPNAVINST 5530.14E was updated by Change 3 in November 2017 to remove the requirement for exposure to oleoresin capsicum spray during sustainment training. It was also affected by the release of NAVADMIN 272/17, which implemented the Navy’s Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. However, the NAVADMIN clearly states that “LEOSA credentials do not permit the carry of concealed privately-owned weapons on Federal installations or where prohibited by federal, state, or local statutes.” https://www.secnav.navy.mil/doni/Directives/05000%20General%20Management%20Security%20and%20Safety%20Services/05-500%20Security%20Services/5530.14E%20W%20CH-3.PDF
2. A classroom or a hangar (in contrast to a privately owned vehicle on base) would likely be considered a “Federal facility” under 18 U.S. Code § 930, and thus subject to an additional layer of scrutiny and legal counsel consultation (as required by DoDD 5210.56) before an arming authority could grant permission to carry. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/930
3. Letter from Commander, Naval Support Activity Washington to the author, dated 20 November 2019.
6. “Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted.” See: John Lott, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2016” https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2814691