Claim: Memo issued to soldiers at Fort Campbell requires them to provide information on privately owned weapons.
MIXTURE OF TRUE AND FALSE INFORMATION
Example:[Collected via e-mail, March 2009]
Be warned - - Obama has started!!!!
Are we (Americans) ready for this?
The big hush hush is to not only take away our missile defenses but Obama is going to disarm the public as well. He is starting with the military and then the public. The country will then be totally defenseless. This really needs some deep thought and resolve on everyone's part if we are going to remain a Free People. It is going to take the collective effort of every American who has a desire for LIBERTY without reservation. Here is what has just been ordered...
FORWARDED AS RECEIVED . . . .
ALL ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS HEADS UP!!!!
I am an 11B currently assigned at Fort Campbell. I live off post, with my firearms (which I don't bring on post for any reason). A very frightening thing happened at work yesterday. I was ordered to fill out a list containing my firearm information. This included make, model, caliber, and serial number of all firearms I currently posses. In addition, I was also required to list registration information, location of all weapons individually, and information regarding any CCW permits I posses. If you are like me, then the people you work with know you have firearms. So I had to list at least some. I tried to talk to my 1sg (who is normally aproachable through proper channels) to find out what this is for, and I was basically told, "I don't give a !&@%, just put your info on the form."
I don't know how high this goes, but I am hearing that this is going on in other units at Fort Campbell as well. It just seems a little coincidental to me that within 90 days: the most anti-firearm President in history is inaugurated, some of the nastiest anti-firearm laws are put on the table in Washington, and then the Army comes around wanting what amounts to a registration on all firearms, even if they are off post, and doesn't provide any reason or
purpose as to why.
I fear something really nasty is blowing in the wind here. I have been in almost 8 years, and never have any of my units asked for this information. If any of you out there have any info as to what all this crap is about please chime in. Otherwise consider yourself warned. I have already posted this on every other firearm forum I am a member of to get the word out.
Origins: It is true that in March 2009, members of one U.S. Army company (Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion,187th Infantry Regiment) stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received a memorandum from their company commander directing them to provide to their chain of command information (e.g., registration number, location, permit status) about any privately owned weapons in their possession:
However, it is not true, as intimated in the e-mail message reproduced above, that the memo was connected to some nefarious plot by the Obama administration to disarm America, beginning with its soldiers. As Kelly Tyler, the director of the Public Affairs Office at Fort Campbell told us in response to our query, the intent behind the memo was part of an effort to determine how best to avoid further incidents involving the negligent or accidental discharge of firearms, not a prelude to a plan to infringe on soldiers' rights to possess privately owned weapons. Nobody's guns were taken away; the memo itself was sent only to a single company and was quickly rescinded:
There is no policy at Fort Campbell requiring Soldiers who reside off post to declare or register their privately owned fire arms.
The command is concerned about the elevated numbers of negligent/accidental discharges — at least one of which resulted in a tragic death. The goal is to determine how to best mitigate those risks, without infringing on the Constitutional Rights of our Soldiers.
The memo was an effort by a company commander to attempt to ascertain who in his unit owned firearms. Within days of the memo being issued, it was rescinded. To the best of our knowledge, that was the only memo of its sort that was issued — the Deputy Commanding General has issued a "cease and desist" order to all units who may have been contemplating similar actions. (To provide some perspective, the 101st has more than
200 companies and company commanders — this memo was issued to about 110 Soldiers of the
29,000 on Fort Campbell).
Current policy states Soldiers who live in the barracks at Fort Campbell must store their personally owned weapons in the unit arms room. Soldiers who live in government quarters on post must register their weapons with the Provost Marshal, but can keep them in their homes. Soldiers who reside off post have no registration requirements unless they bring their weapons on post to use the firing range. Other than the short-lived memo, no efforts are underway to collect serial numbers of privately owned weapons.
Soldiers and their families must comply with local and state regulations for gun ownership and hand gun carry permits. Unregistered weapons are not permitted on the installation at any time, and registered weapons are only permitted if they are being transported to or from the personal weapons range.
Cathy Gramling, Fort Campbell's Media Relations Officer, elaborated on the original aim behind the memo's issuance:
As a response to a number of negligent discharges of privately owned weapons, the command decided to explore how to implement a training program for soldiers with privately owned weapons. Their goal is to identify soldiers with firearms and provide additional safety training to them, much like our motorcycle and driver safety classes.
Our soldiers train and operate in combat with M-4 carbines and various other military weapons, but not all who purchase their own weapons are properly trained to handle them. Determining which soldiers possess weapons will allow the command to identify the soldiers who may require additional training on them.