Marine Leaders Get It

And some US Air Force leaders don’t.

The Marine Corps just issued a new policy yesterday stating active Marine Corps law enforcement professionals will be allowed to carry concealed while off-duty “on board” all USMC facilities located in the United States or US territories. This applies to both USMC military and civilian law enforcement personal. While not perfect, it is a start.

R 311847Z DEC 19

MARADMIN 719/19

MSGID/CMC WASHINGTON DC PP&O//

SUBJ/CONCEALED CARRY OF PRIVATELY OWNED FIREARMS FOR U.S. MARINE CORPS LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS//

GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  This MARADMIN authorizes qualified active Marine Corps Law Enforcement (LE) professionals who possess valid Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) 18 U.S.C. §926B credentials to carry concealed privately owned firearms (POF) aboard Marine Corps property in the United States and U.S. territories for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.

2.  In December 2019, the Department of the Navy (DON) suffered two fatal active shooter incidents aboard Naval Base Hawaii and Naval Air Station Pensacola.  These tragic events prompted Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) to accelerate existing efforts to develop concealed carry policies aligned with SECNAVINST 5500.37, “Arming and the Use of Force.”

3.  SECNAVINST 5500.37 authorizes the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) to grant permission to Marine Corps uniformed and civilian personnel to carry a POF aboard Marine Corps property for personal protection not in the performance of official duties or status.  Through this MARADMIN, the CMC authorizes only Marine Corps LE professionals who possess valid LEOSA 18 U.S.C. §926B credentials to carry a concealed POF aboard Marine Corps property.  Marine Corps property are Marine Corps installations, bases, and stations in which the Marine Corps exercises primacy for LE functions.

4.  MCO 5580.4, “Implementation of the Amended LEOSA,” with changes captured in MARADMIN 470/18 and AMHS message DTG 231907Z Aug 18, codifies requirements for the concealed carry of a POF by Marine Corps LE professionals for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.  Per MCO 5580.4, Marine Corps LE professionals are defined as Military Police, Criminal Investigators, and Marine Corps Law Enforcement Program Police Officers who meet credentialing requirements for concealed carry of a POF for personal protection. 

5.  This MARADMIN authorizes Marine Corps LE professionals, who maintain LEOSA 926B credentials, to carry a concealed POF aboard Marine Corps property while off-duty.  The authority of this MARADMIN does not extend to Marine Corps LE professionals on joint bases, on other Department of Defense (DOD) property under the cognizance of another DOD service, or on other federal facilities.  This MARADMIN does not authorize other DOD LE professionals to carry a concealed POF on Marine Corps property.

6.  Marine Corps LE professionals must comply with concealed carry requirements as set forth in DODD 5210.56, “Arming and the Use of Force.”  Restrictions and special considerations, including POF registration, POF storage and transportation, and adherence to POF concealed carry policy, as prescribed in MCO 5580.4, remain in effect.  Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §930(d) and DODD 5210.56, Marine Corps LE professionals are authorized to carry a concealed POF for personal protection not related to the performance of official duties within buildings and facilities located on Marine Corps property except for DOD schools in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §922(q), “Federal Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995,” courtrooms unless previously authorized by the military judge, or where otherwise prohibited by law. 

7.  HQMC will continue to develop policy to address the total force  requirements for the carry, transport, and storage of concealed POFs aboard Marine Corps property aligned with SECNAVINST 5500.37.  Installation commanders and arming authorities charged with implementing the provisions of this MARADMIN should consult their servicing Staff Judge Advocate to ensure local policies comply with law, regulations, and policies.

8.  Release authorized by Lieutenant General G. W. Smith Jr., Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies, and Operations.//

While the Marines get it, Col. Gavin Marks, the commander of the Air Force’s 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, does not. He just rescinded the policy allowing those with a carry permit to have personally owned firearms in their vehicles.

POLICY CHANGE: Beginning Jan. 2, 2020, the 55th Wing commander has directed that the transportation of privately owned firearms (POF) on Offutt Air Force Base, with few exceptions, will be prohibited.

The current policy, which authorizes registered Department of Defense ID card holders with a Nebraska Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and holders of reciprocating state concealed carry license (CCL), to transport and secure privately-owned handguns in privately-owned vehicles within the base, will no longer be valid. This policy change comes as a result of the commander’s initial review of the Offutt AFB Integrated Defense and Antiterrorism Plan, a requirement to be completed within 120 days of assuming command.

The commander’s intent for this change is that firearms will be effectively controlled and safely handled on Offutt AFB and is reflective of the full confidence in the 55th Security Forces Squadron’s ability to defend the installation and its personnel. By making this change Offutt will exceed requirements outlined in DoD Instruction 5210.56 and Air Force Instruction 31-101.

So when seconds count at Offutt, the 55th Security Forces Squadron will be only minutes away.

Col. Marks needs to read Andy Brown’s Warnings Unheeded. Then Senior Airman Andy Brown, a USAF security policeman, was able to stop the mass casualty event at Fairfield AFB in 1994 by killing the murderer. However, four people were killed and 22 wounded before Brown’s incredible marksmanship stopped the killer.

How many more people have to die before military leaders finally get it?

Victimhood Does Not Convey Policy Expertise

Being a victim does not make you an expert. Further, being a victim does not make you morally superior. People need to remember this.

CBS Sunday Morning ran an editorial this morning from Shauna Saxton of Odessa, Texas. She “locked eyes” with the murderer in Texas. Fortunately for her and her family, she had the presence of mind to hit the accelerator and get out of there. Nonetheless, she is calling on Congress to take action.

I’m not sure how Mrs. Saxton has become the public face of the tragedy in Odessa and Midland. Neither she nor her family were injured and I’m thankful for that. A Google search on her name and Odessa pulls up many stories about her experience along with multiple interviews. In a sense, she has become the David Hogg of the Odessa tragedy – there but not injured.

Mrs. Saxton gave a tearful commentary intended to tug on your heartstrings. It is aimed at conservatives to make them agree that we need more gun control.

This awful experience has changed me. Things I once believed to be true have now been brought into question. Do private citizens need access to weapons as deadly as an assault rifle? This question and others like it are a hot topic here in Texas, and in other states around the nation. It is a very difficult question. How do we promote public safety whilst protecting the rights of people who choose to bear arms? 


The problem, by necessity, will require compromise from both sides. No one is going to get exactly what they want; life just isn’t that way. (I learned this lesson as a young girl with six brothers.) But we can look for common ground and be willing to give and take.

There are two problems with this argument. First, the ideas being promoted – red flag laws, assault weapons (sic) bans, and mag restrictions – would not have changed a thing in Odessa and Midland or anywhere else. Dangerous people are going to use whatever tool is at their disposal. Red flag laws remove the weapon but not the dangerous person.

In this case, the murderer reportedly obtained his firearm from an illegal manufacturer making any sort of universal background check irrelevant.

The second problem with her argument is that the only side giving up anything will be gun owners. The gun prohibitionists will be getting something. The only compromise they make is not to take everything now.

Mrs. Saxton concludes:

As Congress reconvenes, I call on all its members to be men and women of action. I implore our leaders to recognize this growing danger for what it is, and act upon it. If we continue to do nothing, these tragedies will repeat themselves, and more innocent lives will be lost.


To the leaders of this great country, I say, take up the mantle of the responsibility you have been given. Be courageous. Stand for those who you represent. We pray daily for you that you will do the right thing, and that you will be honorable in your work, indeed, that you will find a solution by which all Americans can benefit.


We must take action. We must do something. Doing nothing is not an option.

Doing nothing is always an option. As a former student of public policy at the graduate level, doing nothing is always on the table. Indeed, doing nothing is often the best option. “Doing something” in response to a tragic event leads to bad and ineffective policies.

I’m afraid that in the current political climate politicians will agree with Mrs. Saxton and think they have “to do something”. It won’t save anyone but “they did something”.

UPDATE: The video of Mrs. Saxton’s commentary has been removed from both YouTube and from the CBS News website. You get this message when you click on the link to it above: “The page may have been removed, had its name changed, or is just temporarily unavailable.” Interesting.