Safe and secure

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

The 49th Security Forces Squadron updated the policy and procedures for personal firearms on base, Dec. 11, 2019.

The 49th SFS is responsible for defending Air Force personnel and assets, and periodically adjustments are made so all with base access clearly understand the rules and procedures.

Specifically, changes have been made to the policy so that active duty, retired members, their dependents, and Department of Defense civilian employees are now permitted to transport weapons on base without a concealed carry permit. 

When transporting firearms on and off Holloman, firearms must remain out of public view and must be secured within a container with a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives approved firearm lock or locked in a vehicle compartment or firearm case.  In addition, when not occupied the vehicle must be locked.

“We have a lot of people traveling longer distances to base and we want them to feel safe,” said Master Sgt. Jacob Babich, 49th SFS Operations superintendent. “I talked to an individual who commutes from El Paso, Texas, every day. Her car broke down on the highway recently, and she felt vulnerable. So I’m glad we can make it easier for people in cases like that.”

While allowing members to transport firearms on base, the new policy also makes it easier to abide by 49th SFS regulations. Airmen and their dependents moving to on-base housing still must go to the armory to get their firearms temporarily registered within 24 hours of arriving on base, but now the time to finish the process has increased.

“We found the rule could be a little less stringent because originally Airmen had 24 hours to completely register their firearms,” said Babich. “The new procedure allows for 30 days so they can work on more immediate family care issues and unit needs.”

Babich said implementing the new policies has gone well so far, and members seem to have a clear understanding of how to comply with regulations.

“When the email went out to base personnel, initially I got a lot of questions that were fairly easy to answer,” said Babich. “Since that time we haven’t had any incidents, and we have gotten a lot of good feedback from those who the changes affected the most.”

For any additional questions about personal firearms procedures and regulations, call the 49 SFS Armory at 575-572-3044.