Is it time to allow soldiers to carry their own personal sidearms when they are on Army posts? 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports the question is getting more traction following this month's shooting at Ft. Hood which killed three soldiers and wounded 14.
"Before 1993, you could carry a firearm on post," retired Col. Jeffrey Addicott, who is now a law professor at St. Mary's University, told 1200 WOAI news. "In 1993, the Clinton Administration banned that."
According to Ft. Hood, Regulation 190-11 requires soldiers are not allowed to carry privately owned firearms on post, unless they are military police officers. Soldiers who live on post must notify their commander if they have a weapon in their barracks and must report it within two hours of realizing that the weapon is missing or has been stolen.
In addition, soldiers are not allowed to carry concealed weapons on Ft. Hood, even if they have concealed carry permits.
The firearm rules were largely imposed to cut down on the booming problem of military suicides. The regulations require a commander to remove firearms from any soldier who is considered 'at risk of suicide.'
The question of arms on military posts was first floated after the 2009 shootings at Ft. Hood, and after last year's shooting at the Washington Naval Yard, Rep Steve Stockman (R-Tx) introduced a measure that would allow both civilians and military personnel to carry weapons on miltiary installations.
"Our military soldiers are supposed to be trained in firearms, and it doesn't make any sense to ban weapons which are supposed to be part of your trade," Addicott said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) has now joined the effort to allow soldiers to carry firearms for protection on military posts.
The 'gun free directive' actually dates back to the George H.W. Bush Administration.
"The original ban was not proposed by the miltiary it was proposed by civilian leadership," Addicott said. "Obviously it is time to get back to reality."