President Donald Trump was elected on a platform to undo several anti-gun policies at the federal level. These included gun-free zone policies at schools and on military bases.
Bob Anderson of The New American noted that on his inauguration day, President Trump promised: “[I will] get rid of gun-free zones on schools and on military bases.”
Three years and two attacks on military bases later, new policies are being implemented in American military bases.
Lieutenant General G. W. Smith, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations is now planning to implement Trump’s campaign promises.
On December 31, Smith signed a memorandum, which read:
This MARADMIN [Marine Administrative Message] authorizes qualified active Marine Corps Law Enforcement (LE) professionals who possess valid Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) … 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.
Smith conceded that it took the two attacks in December (Pensacola Naval Air Station and Pearl Harbor) to compel him to act:
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.
Like any gun-free zone, military bases are vulnerable to potential mass shooters.
Gun rights researcher John Lott, the founder the Crime Prevention Research Center, has studied these policies for decades.
According to a 2018 study, Lott found that 94 percent of public mass shootings from 1950 to 2018 occurred in these gun-free zones, which should be better renamed as criminal safe spaces.
A Saudi national murdered three people and wounded eight others at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. He had 10 minutes to carry out his shooting spree before law enforcement took him out.
Two days earlier, a sailor killed two civilian Defense Department employers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii before killing himself.
Ultimately, these new policies at Marine bases are changes that should have taken place earlier.
It is a head-scratcher that trained American servicemen can’t be trusted to carry their own firearms while serving on base.
However, liberty conservatives should take whatever they can get.
Hopefully, such a move is able to spur other gun-free zone reforms in the civilian sphere.