SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy updated the policy for personal firearms June 10, effectively consolidating the regulation for storing firearms on base in order to combat the increase in accidental discharges and injuries related to firearms.
The NAVADMIN, updates Chief of Naval Operations Instruction (OPNAVINST) 5530.14E, the Navy Physical Security and Law Enforcement Program. It provides guidance for the possession of personal weapons aboard Navy installations whether in Navy housing areas or base armories and states installation commanding officers are responsible for control and accountability of personal firearms on board Navy installations.
"Firearm safety should be paramount and firearm education should be increased," said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Jarod Gumbelton, of the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center master-at-arms department. "I have over 10 years of experience teaching firearm safety during my military service, and I believe this policy will help to reduce accidental discharges ... and help to protect family members and minors."
Navy officials reported 28 acts of Sailor misconduct or suicide involving firearms occurred on board Navy installations in fiscal year 2008, while another 111 incidents occurred off base, resulting in 26 deaths.
The policy now states Sailors may store personal firearms in certain locations on board Navy installations under controlled circumstances and with prior written approval of the installation's commanding officer.
"I think the key things Sailors need to know are they must have prior approval to transport or store personal firearms on an installation, and can obtain the forms used and the processes and rules for bringing a personally-owned firearms onto the installation by contacting the installation security officer," said Dave Lee, a public affairs specialist at Commander Navy Installations Command.
The revised policy instructs Sailors who own firearms to take their responsibilities seriously and comply with all regulations. Navy officials say violators of these regulations may be subject to administrative and or disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Navy personnel are also responsible for complying with federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as applicable Status of Forces Agreements and host nation laws when overseas concerning firearm ownership, possession, registration, transportation and use.
The revision, outlined in Navy Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 196/10, is expected to be in effect after installations review and revise their current operating procedures, said Commander Navy Installations Command.
For more news from Commander Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnic/.