Service Members Safety Act of 2011

Written by Kevin Webb

Service Members Safety Act of 2011

The “Service Members Safety Act of 2011” would allow for all cleared active duty and retired military personnel the right to carry a concealed weapon, including firearms, on a national level without having to obtain multiple state carry permits. The application process and background check would still apply, but the permit’s reciprocity would become accepted throughout the entire United States.

Below is the complete article highlighting some of the reasons and legislative leverage behind this idea. -Kevin Webb

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Service Member Safety Act of 2011

Midwest Marines Writes:

“Law enforcement officers and Marines are both trained to handle various scenarios, often involving lethal force in self defense or defense of others. As a matter of fact, many current law enforcement tactics, techniques, and procedures come from the military sector.

Nationwide, law enforcement officers carry their duty weapon everywhere they go. Why? Because handguns are seen as the most effective self-defense tool the officer can keep on their body at all times, and they often find themselves in situations where they have to interact with dangerous people.

Many law enforcement agencies encourage their officers to carry a concealed firearm while off-duty, and I’ve even heard of agencies requiring their officers to do so. The logic behind off-duty carry is solid – it puts more armed trained personnel on the streets to respond to a given situation.

Much like our brothers in blue, Marines deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan keep their assigned duty weapon with them at all times, regardless of their occupational field. Why? Again, because when going into harm’s way, the firearm is the most effective self-defense tool they can keep within arms reach at all times. Just like America’s law enforcement officers, Marines are often called upon to defend themselves or others from dangerous people.

Unfortunately, when Marines return to the streets of America, their carrying of a firearm turns from an everyday occurrence to a “mother may I” proposition. Not only do they have to navigate the numerous and often changing base regulations governing the personal ownership of firearms, they also have to jump through whatever state legal hoops there may be in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. And that’s if it’s even legal in the state in which they’re stationed.

Here in Wisconsin, there is currently no provision to legally carry a concealed firearm (unless, of course, you are a law enforcement officer). My counterpart in Chicago – who holds a highly coveted New York State concealed weapon permit – has to deal with Illinois’ prohibition on concealed firearms as well as Chicago’s now-defunct outright ban on handguns. At least I don’t have to work and live around a city like Chicago whose weekend murder counts requires both hands to count.

I’m just one of many Marines in this state who have qualified numerous times on various military qualification courses, including those required of Marine and Navy military police/security officers. We’ve all received countless hours of training in handling various situations up to and including the appropriate use of deadly force.

In 2004, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act was signed into law. This law basically allows active and retired officers to carry a concealed firearm nationwide. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America has the following talking points about the law (in the interest of space, I’ve cherry picked the pertinent points):

  • In a time where Homeland Security is paramount, H.R. 218/S.253 gives America countless additional trained and armed first responders at no additional cost to the taxpayers. There’s a long history of armed off duty officers coming to the rescue in life threatening situations H.R. 218 and S. 253 will make that reality even more plausible by expanding the areas where our officers can be equipped for the emergencies they are trained to respond to.
  • H.R. 218 and S. 253 give off-duty, as well as retired, police officers Right To Carry reciprocity throughout the nation in order to help prevent crime in our communities. All too often, current and retired officers come upon situations in which they can prevent violent crime and save lives. It is common sense they continue to have the tool of their trade available to serve and protect.
  • H.R. 218 and S. 253 will allow tens of thousands of additionally equipped, trained and certified law enforcement officers to continually serve and protect our communities regardless of jurisdiction or duty status at no cost to taxpayers.
  • H.R. 218 and S. 253 provide clear, uniform nationwide rules to replace the variety of local laws that create confusion and uncertainty as to whether an officer may or may not carry a firearm when he or she is off duty.

Every single one of those points which LEAA rightfully uses to explain why officers should be able to carry a concealed firearm are applicable to today’s active-duty and retired service members. To that list, I would like to add the fact anti-terrorism experts across the country agree military personnel and facilities are high-priority targets for terrorists.

In the end, I think it’s about time active-duty and retired service members be extended the same courtesy as active and retired law enforcement officers. This would put countless numbers of armed TRAINED personnel on the streets ready, willing, and able to respond.”

View original article here

Moving Forward & Getting It Passed

There will be information available soon as to how you can get involved in helping get the Service Member Safety Act of 2011 (SMSA) turned into a reality.

U.S. Justice Department surveys showed 57 percent of convicts were “more worried about their victims being armed than being caught by the police,” and 40 percent said they “decided at least once not to commit a crime because a victim might be armed.”

About the author

Kevin Webb


  • I think this is an excellent idea. But I have one question, why limit it to active duty and retired military? I’m not trying to get into the whole active duty-reservist debate, but an infantry Marine reservist is better trained with his weapon and has more trigger time than an active duty admin clerk. Just saying, theres alot of benefits out there that exclude reservists, even if they spend their entire career deployed and or on active duty state side. I will send this article around, I hope to see it get more attention.

    Semper Fi

    • @SH, I agree that this should be extended to every citizen to be honest. However, we have to start somewhere, and trying to go full-force into having it approved nationwide for all citizens would more than likely never happen.

      I’d even be in support of allowing citizens who have taken the proper classes and gone through the proper screening process the right to carry on trains, planes, and automobiles, into sporting events, etc. It would cut costs in security, as every citizen would be financially responsible for paying for their own training, background checks, etc. There is nearly no excuses for not implementing a program like this.

      Imagine having several trained and licensed “weapons” on board a cruise line, flight, train, at sporting events, etc. Self-paid security and extra peace of mind.

      Traveling is one of the biggest reasons to carry a concealer weapon, and having states that do not allow a certain state’s reciprocity limits a person’s ability to protect themselves when traveling, or it limits the states in which they will travel to.

  • @SH i think it meant to include reservists, it would also make alot of sense seeing as reservists are spread through out the country while AD is only in certain areasand if they’re going along the lines of giving military personal the right to carry nation wide to help protect people wouldnt it make sense for reservist to be included.

    but yea, i think this is a excellent idea

  • @SH @evan My thinking was the same “rules” that apply to LEOSA would apply to service members.

    LEOSA applies to current and retired law enforcement officers with a few qualifications, so applying that paradigm to service members, this would include any service member who holds a military ID card.

  • Kevin,

    I would like as much information on this as possible. I am very involved in shooting communities in OK and TX as well as my home state of Alaska and I would like to help spread the word. Who is pushing this bill? Politically who has backed it. Etc. etc.

    Really appreciate the information and For the Record… im with you on that P238.. I own two of them now!


    Nick Capozzi

  • I am in total agreement with this. I have been in for 21 years and counting. If we can carry them 24/7 while deployed, why do we have to go unarmed in our own country. Face it most bases in CONUS(I have been to) are not in the best part of town. If you serve/served country honorably then you should be granted this right.

  • I think this is a great idea, and lets put emphasis on the “cleared” part, because you know someone out there is going to spring into action using the argument of “disgruntled servicemember” PTSD, and gangs in the military to shoot this program down, the majority of people Ive had the pleasure of serving with are of good moral character, and gun owners, and on the reservist side of the house many are law enforcement officers, I say let our service members have their guns, and use them too, lord knows that the comment about bases not being in the best part of town is true. Im currently in California, and the gun laws almost make it impossible to obtain a carry concealed weapons permit, and open carry is just an invitation to be harrased by the police, and you can’t carry your weapon loaded in the state of California, but this would change things, at least for folks who have served or are currently serving, please keep us updated, I will pass this along to my buddies, who will hopefully pass it on to theirs, and raise awreness among the military community, and we can back this up

  • I agree with this as well. I know many military are better trained and see more trigger time than some law enforcement. All depends on the job, level of necesity, and available funds. I am also curious as the extent of expanding the authorized areas of concealed carry. I have started many conversations about the ability for service members to carry on post/installations. If we are authorized to take over countries with lethal force and allowed to conceal carry stateside to protect oneself and other victims, why not carry on post/forts,camps? With the growing number of shooting and attempts on military installations, we should be able to protect ourselves. Military police can only do so much. Eveer see the food court during lunch. Only takes a few seconds to execute a mass casualty event. I believe we should be able to carry on military installations as well. We wear the uniform, receive the training, and authorized by the local state. If we get national authorization to carry, we should get authorization to carry on military installations.

  • I fully agree. I’ve carried most of my life ,both while on active duty & after I retired .Thankfully I never had to use my weapon out of uniform ,but am secure with the knowledge I am prepared to protect my family . This just followes the second ammendment .

  • I think its a good idea if and only if it allows servicemembers to carry on base. It should also include anyone with an honorable discharge and is not disqualified from owning a firearm for whatever reason to have the same benefits. It would get many more folks who have been trained to use a firearm out in the streets, that fact alone would scare the hell out of criminals and make them think twice before commiting a violent crime against someone.

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