The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Here are the rules on carrying firearms on Fort Hood

Military police direct traffic outside Fort Hood. (EPA)

Soldiers on all military installations, including Fort Hood, are not armed while on post, nor are they permitted to carry any privately owned firearms. Only law enforcement and security personnel are allowed to have weapons on post.

On Fort Hood, the restrictions on personal weapons were expanded in the wake of the 2009 massacre and an epidemic of suicides on post, which is the largest active-duty armored post in the country. Current policy requires soldiers to register their own personal weapons with their commanders and to keep those weapons in the arms room.

A site welcoming new soldiers to Fort Hood uses red text and multiple exclamation marks to say all privately owned weapons must be registered at the visitor center before the owner enters the installation.

The post’s newspaper, the Fort Hood Sentinel, reported in August of 2012 on the rules: Soldiers who live on post must let their immediate commanders know if they have a personal firearm. All losses — or possible losses — must be reported within two hours. No concealed weapons are allowed, even with a state or county permit.

Here’s an excerpt from Defense Department policy on carrying firearms:

The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried. Evaluation of the necessity to carry a firearm shall be made considering this expectation weighed against the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of firearms. DoD personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties shall be armed.

After the shootings at Washington’s Navy Yard in September, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would allow both service members and federal civilians to carry their personal weapons on military installations.

“Our disarmed military bases are vulnerable targets for terrorists, as we saw in Fort Hood and the Navy Yard,” Stockman said in a statement at the time. “Despite that, soldiers trained to use guns cannot carry on base. The result is two mass killings where defenseless soldiers had to watch as their friends were murdered.”

The Military Times wrote that the original rule on carrying firearms was issued in February 1992 and reinforced by an Army instruction in 1993.

Here are Fort Hood’s rules on firearms: