POSTED: Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 9:01am
UPDATED: Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 9:07am
Fort Bliss, TX — Firearms have had a strong effect on the American lifestyle since the founding of our great nation. Even our founding fathers adopted the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution which protects the rights of people to keep and bear arms. At Fort Bliss, the policy that governs the owning and transporting of firearms is governed by Army Regulation 190-11, Chapter 4.
“All personnel, Soldiers and civilians, who live or work on Fort Bliss and who have a need to bring a weapon on the installation must register their weapon before doing so,” said Patrick S. Dyer, a physical security specialist with the Directorate of Emergency Services, here.
Firearms can be registered through two Visitor Control Centers located either at the Robert E. Lee gate, 24 hours a day or at the Chaffee gate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Soldiers, E-1 through E-6, must obtain a commander’s signature for the firearm to be registered. The forms may be obtained from the VCC, the DES share point or the firearm’s counter at Freedom Crossing.
If your firearm was registered at another installation, the information has to be updated with your new duty station.
For Soldiers residing off-post, the policy that must be adhered to falls under Public Law 111-383.
Public Law 111-383 states the ability of a commander to regulate the privately owned weapons of Soldiers who reside off-post is limited to three exceptions.
The first two apply when Soldiers are engaged in official duties or are in uniform and are self-explanatory. The third exception allows commanders to regulate prisoners of war when a Soldier is under investigation, prosecution or adjudication of an alleged violation of law, including matters related to whether a member of the armed forces constitutes a threat.
According to AR 190-11, all personnel keeping or storing privately owned arms and ammunition will also comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations on ownership, possession and transporting of firearms, whether they live on or off-post.
For those interested in firearms, the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club offer a safety class for minors and adults.
There are also plans to have be National Rifle Association certified instructors for shotguns, pistols and rifles, said Jason D. Propheter, the business manager at the Rod and Gun Club.
In retrospect, training and safety are paramount when handling a firearm.
“All people should handle a weapon like it is loaded,” said Propheter. “Read the manual, keep your finger off the trigger when handling the firearm and know the firearm to prevent a negligent discharge.”
To learn more, AR 190-11 Chap. 4, Fort Bliss Regulation 27-5 or Public Law 111-383.