Weapons are a tool of the trade in the U.S. military, yet possession of weapons on installations is more restricted. Members of the Joint Base Langley-Eustis community should be aware of the policies that govern all weapons brought onto the installation.

According to the Integrated Defense Plan, weapons must be registered with the base armory within 24 hours of being brought onto an installation. Before that point, weapons must be properly secured and stored, and firearms unloaded. Weapons are prohibited from being stored in vehicles or on-base dormitories.

“Weapons include firearms, knives with blades longer than 5 1/2 inches, self-defense agents - such as pepper spray and stun guns - martial arts weapons and various devices capable of firing projectiles - such as paintball guns, bows and arrows, BB guns, blow guns, slingshots, blank cartridge pistols, straight razors, etc.

Since weapons may not be left unattended in a vehicle for any period of time, a person bringing a weapon onto the installation, or who has just purchased one from the Exchange, must proceed directly to a destination where the weapon may be stored.

There are some weapons, however, that are illegal on base and cannot be brought onto the installation under any circumstances. These include switchblade and butterfly knives, brass knuckles, tear gas and dispensers, sawed-off shotguns, automatic weapons, silencers, knives or shooting weapons hidden inside other objects and weapons improvised from other devices.

The following instances provide examples of weapon protocol on base:

Example 1: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Snuffy has a Virginia concealed carry permit. He may wear a concealed firearm off base, but his permit does not allow him to wear a concealed firearm on base. If he brings his gun on base, he must check it in at the armory.

Example 2: Mr. Doe, a retiree, is going to the firing range at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and stops by the gas station on base with his gun and ammunition in his vehicle. He may do so, but may not walk away from his vehicle or go inside the Shoppette. His gun must be secured, separate from the ammunition, and out of reach of vehicle occupants (e.g., in the trunk).

Example 3: Airman 1st Class Smith lives in the dorms and loves paintball. She must store her paintball gun at the armory or off base.

Example 4: Mrs. Jones is a civilian employee who works on base. She has brass knuckles that were a gift from coworkers at a former job, inscribed with, ‘Mrs. Jones: A knockout employee,’ which she uses as a paperweight. She skims over this article, so she takes the brass knuckles to the armory. She will not be able to register them there, as they are illegal and are not allowed on the installation at all.

This information pertains to personally owned weapons and vehicles, and does not apply to the carry and use of weapons as part of official duties.

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