Gun Hero of the Day: 7th Bomb Wing Commander Col. David Benson

Col. David Benson, 7th Bomb Wing commander (courtesy reporternews.com)

The following changes to Dyess Air Force Base’s personal firearms policy doen’t enable concealed carry on base. The policy doesn’t include base contractors in its provisions . But it’s a step in the right direction that protects airmen and women as they travel to and from base. Press release:

by Airman 1st Class Katherine Miller
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

12/3/2015 – DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Changes to the Dyess Force Protection Plan, signed and approved by Col. David Benson, 7th Bomb Wing commander, now permits authorized personnel that possess a current and valid Texas Concealed Handgun License or a reciprocating state concealed carry license to transport and secure privately-owned handguns in privately-owned vehicles within legal boundaries of Dyess Air Force Base . . .

“While this policy change does not allow concealed carry on base, it does allow those who carry concealed weapons to transport them onto and off the base in their vehicles,” said Col. David Benson, 7th Bomb Wing commander [above]. “This provides a safe and secure way to bring their weapons on base.”

Individuals wishing to transport a handgun must also have a valid Department of Defense identification card or Common Access Card and also hold one of the following statues: active duty personnel, retired military personnel, dependents of active duty personnel or Department of Defense civilians. However, private contractors, visitors or holders of special/one-time passes are not allowed to bring their handguns into the legal boundary of Dyess AFB at any time.

Individuals are required to keep their Texas CHL or reciprocating state CCL on their person at all times when in the legal boundaries of Dyess AFB and must surrender it as well as their valid DoD identification card when approached by Security Forces, Office of Special Investigations or local law enforcement. Upon being stopped by SF, OSI or local law enforcement, individuals must immediately identify the presence and exact location of their handgun.

“It is imperative that you tell law enforcement that you have a weapon in your vehicle, that you have a concealed carry license and where the weapon is located within the vehicle,” said Maj. Mark Breed, 7th Security Forces Squadron commander. “Failure to do so could result in apprehension and a charge of failure to obey an order or regulation for military personnel or detention and administrative measures for civilian personnel.”

All individuals will secure handguns in their appropriate weapons case or vehicle compartment as well as maintain control of vehicle and/or compartment keys at all times. While this change now allows handguns in POVs, it does not allow the concealed carry of firearms on your person or within facilities on Dyess AFB.

Individuals will not remove handguns from POV at any time within the legal boundary of Dyess AFB. Also, handguns will not be stored or secured in an unattended POV for more than 24 hours while within legal boundaries of Dyess AFB. For Airmen living in the dorms, the weapons must still be checked into and out of the armory for storage.

Individuals residing in on-base dormitories, lodging or temporary living facilities are not permitted to store their handgun or weapon of any kind in their room at any time. The 7th SFS armory will remain as the mandated storage repository for these weapons. The 7th SFS maintains a list of weapons removed from the armory and will notify an Airman’s commander if the weapon is checked out for more the 72 hours and a leave form was not submitted.

The requirement for base residents, dorm residents and those in base housing, to register at the Visitor Control Center to maintain a weapon on base remains in place.

“This change does not waive the processes and procedures we have in place for the registration of weapons on base,” said Breed. “If anything, this change makes it even more important for those who own and maintain weapons to follow the procedures from when they first acquire a weapon for those residing on base.”

For more information about the Concealed Handgun Licensing Program, please visit: http://txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/index.htm. [h/t AT]

comments

  1. avatar Ed Haertel says:

    Excellent, though I never get near Dyess. Don’t hold out much – er, any hope that this policy will be adopted by all military posts.

  2. avatar JohnO_inTX says:

    And all this in a Free Country. WTH

    1. avatar tfunk says:

      C’mon, man, it makes perfect sense! If terrorists/criminals aren’t allowed to take their guns out of their vehicles they can’t walk around shooting people…duh.

      Although, this rule doesn’t cover drive-by’s…perhaps another rule could cover those…

  3. avatar Yeah says:

    Just when I was about to hold this guy up as a shining example, not allowing contractors to do the same is total horseshit. We are CAC holders, some of us are completely embedded in your workforce with your soldiers and civilians and are just as mission critical and you’re basically saying we’re lesser people and our lives matter less. I rue the day if I’m ever in a position to be attacked because these base commanders decided I should be disarmed and I’m forced to travel to my workplace without protection because I’m one of those “damn contractors”. On this day I don’t thank the military and the civilians for their service to the country, but, for once, I thank the contractors, all of them that serve the country and its military each and every day. May you all and your service never be forgotten!

    1. avatar Ragnar says:

      Did you actually read the whole article? It clearly says that CAC holders are good to go.

      1. avatar Chief Master says:

        “Individuals wishing to transport a handgun must also have a valid Department of Defense identification card or Common Access Card and also hold one of the following statues: active duty personnel, retired military personnel, dependents of active duty personnel or Department of Defense civilians. However, private contractors, visitors or holders of special/one-time passes are not allowed to bring their handguns into the legal boundary of Dyess AFB at any time.”

        Reading.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Info added to intro.

        2. avatar Ragnar says:

          Yes, reading. Private contractors don’t get CAC cards unless they need network access. If you have a CAC then you are good to go.

        3. avatar John says:

          Common Access Card AND also hold one of the following statues: active duty personnel, retired military personnel, dependents of active duty personnel or Department of Defense civilians.
          YOU NEED A CAC AND one of the other ones. A contractor is not under that.

    2. avatar Dwight Hansen says:

      As a contractor with a TS/SCI clearance I totally agree with you.

      We don’t qualify for TSA-Pre Check either.

  4. avatar Noah says:

    It’s a start, at least. While unofficial, I’ve heard several commanders give the “unofficial a-okay” to bring weapons on select Army Reserve installations, pending any official written policies by such commanders. With the same caveat: leave it in your car.

    1. avatar Carl in Alaska says:

      Kudos to the Colonel. I’m retired and live between an Army and Air Force base where I go seldom due to needing to plan on leaving my carry weapon at home. Those are generally to the commissary and hospital and a single trip. By being able to legally secure our weapons legally in the vehicle would be great. That’s all I’ve wanted for quite some time. Kudos and thanks!

  5. avatar LarryinTX says:

    A1C Miller, thank you for your service!

  6. avatar BigBoy says:

    This change took balls.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      No kidding. He’s either going to retire soon, or knows he won’t get a star under this administration.

      1. avatar Anner says:

        This change was months in the making, starting with the ISIS 100 list back in the spring. Members of the b1 community asked if it was possible to carry to/from work, and the wing cc at the time (Col Starr) listened. Col Benson has only been in the wing cc seat since October but oversaw the implementation of this policy.

        Both men are true Americans. They’re willing to go out near the edge (career-wise) for their people. Kickass!

  7. avatar John says:

    I JUST spoke with my wing commander about this on Friday!!!! I would love to be able to carry everywhere but being TOTALLY disarmed once I’m on base is just wrong. Guess I’m going to go see him next week. 😉

  8. avatar Heartland Patriot says:

    Is it perfect? No, but it’s a start, and if you don’t understand the risk adverse climate in the services today, then you won’t understand how hard it was for him to do that. That guy has literally risked his future career by doing this; he will likely not make Brigadier General now. Whether you may think so or not, that took guts. This Colonel is now my new “hero”, and I mean that.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Well, it must be very comforting for airmen to know that if they are taking fire from some Nidal Hasan wannabe, their guns are safely locked up in their cars and their families will be able to claim their bodies, their cars and their pistols without too much red tape.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      It’s not a perfect change, but it couldn’t be. Allowing service members to carry in the work place is a one-way ticket to getting fired and replaced with a wing cc that will immediately remove all gun rights on base.

      What this does is allow me to carry the times I really really wish I could: as I leave base and drop by Walmart on the way home, or gas up in town at 2am after a night flight.

      Carrying is all about mitigating threats, and this policy allows folks to mitigate the most realistic and probable threats in their daily movement. The Hassans of the world are a threat, yes, but statistically insignificant in number compared to the whack jobs you find roaming around the average American town.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        The Hassans of the world are a threat, yes, but statistically insignificant in number

        Yes, that’s fair enough. But when the next statistically insignificant shooting occurs on a military base, I don’t think that the victims will feel the same way.

        1. avatar Ed Haertel says:

          True enough, but there are at least a couple of times when active attacks have been stopped by people being able to reach their vehicle and access their firearm before LEOs could appear. Not perfect, but it is a drastic improvement over the firearm being at home in the safe.

  10. avatar Daniel in NC says:

    Common sense change, yes. Hero of the day, no.

  11. avatar PNG says:

    Step in the right direction, sure, but not good enough. When I was on TDY at an Air Force base, I bought my AR. I couldn’t store it in my hotel room, so I had to rent an offsite storage unit and could only maintain it during visits home. Also, not extending to contractors is BS. I hold a TS/SCI so it’s upsetting that I couldn’t be trusted to be responsible.

    Following the Navy recruiter terror attack, my Guard unit allowed carry on base. The handguns are issued by SecFo and must be turned back in at the end of each day. We might allow CCW holders to bring and keep personal arms in POVs in the near future.

  12. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    So it’s now legal to leave your firearms unsecured in mere locked vehicles in vast parking lots? Well, I guess as long as they post “No breaking in and stealing guns allowed” signs, it should be ok.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      The policy requires a couple items along that line:
      -Handgun is locked in the vehicle and either in a case or compartment.
      -Individual must keep vehicle or case locked when not in the vehicle and must maintain positive control of the keys.

  13. avatar Tony says:

    Crawl, walk, run. Kudos for taking a step in the right direction. But why can some commanders still inhibit our second amendment rights? “We the people” should be making the determination of what is acceptable.

  14. Sure would like get in touch with Col. David Benson, Was he formerly stationed at CFB Comox in the mid-70s?

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