Revised policy for transporting privately owned handguns

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Col. Ben Maitre, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, has directed an interim change to the 27th SOW Integrated Defense Plan, which authorizes approved personnel in possession of a current and valid New Mexico Concealed Carry License (CCL) or a reciprocating state CCL to transport and secure a privately-owned handgun in their privately-owned vehicle (POV) within the legal boundaries of Cannon Air Force Base.

This policy officially goes into effect today.

Although this change allows a handgun to be transported in a POV, it does not allow the concealed carry of firearms on your person outside of a vehicle or within facilities on Cannon. This revised policy provides a safe and secure way to transport a handgun on base, instead of having the individual pull over on the side of the road to unload their handgun prior to coming onto the installation. It also keeps people who live off the installation from having to stop by the Security Forces armory on their way on and off the installation.

This privilege is extended to active-duty Airmen, DOD civilians, active-duty dependents and retirees. This policy is not extended to contractors and guests on Cannon.

Authorized members who choose to exercise this privilege must first register their handgun(s) and provide proof of a current and valid CCL with the 27th Special Operation Security Forces Squadron, Plans and Programs Flight. After registering their handgun(s), individuals will be required to keep their CCL on their person at all times while exercising this privilege within the legal boundaries of Cannon.

Upon being stopped by Security Forces, the Office of Special Investigations or local law enforcement, individuals must immediately identify the presence and exact location of their handgun.

When the vehicle occupant(s) reaches their on-base destination, the handgun must be secured within a lockable vehicle compartment or anchored lock box inside the vehicle’s main cab. The vehicle operator must maintain control of the vehicle and/or compartment keys at all times. At no time should the vehicle occupants exit the vehicle with a handgun in order to secure it within a trunk or truck bed. Handguns will not be stored or secured in an unattended POV for more than 24 hours while within the legal boundaries of Cannon.

For Airmen living in the dorms and guests staying in lodging, their firearms must still be stored with Security Forces. The 27th SOSFS armory will remain the mandated storage repository for privately owned firearms. The 27th SOSFS maintains a list of weapons removed from the armory and will notify an Airman's commander if the weapon is checked out for more than 24 hours without the proper leave form having been submitted.

Unit commanders are responsible for maintaining a Do Not Arm (DNA) roster for their squadrons in accordance with AFI 31-117. Commanders must contact the 27th SOSFS, Plans and Programs flight when members are added or removed from their roster for reasons such as medication, discipline or other administrative issues. DNA rosters apply to both the carrying of government firearms and privately owned weapons while on Cannon.

It is imperative that all members choosing to exercise this privilege completely understand the policy prior to transporting a weapon on to Cannon. Failure to fully comply with established procedures could result in apprehension for failure to obey an order or regulation under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice for military personnel, or detention and administrative measures for civilian personnel.

The policy is covered within TAB B of Appendix 2 to the Cannon Air Force Base Integrated Defense Plan (IDP). The IDP can be viewed at https://eis.afsoc.af.mil/sites/27SOSFS/Concealed%20Weapon%20Transport/Forms/AllItems.aspx for members with SharePoint access.

Additionally, a Security Forces representative is available to brief at commander’s call upon request. Questions regarding this article can be directed to the 27th SOSFS Plans and Programs Section at 575-784-2354.