Poll: Majority of troops think they should be armed on stateside bases


Groups to include Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and the Brady Campaign are calling for new gun restrictions after a terrorist’s assault on two military installations. (Photo: AP)

Most American troops believe they should be able to carry guns while working at military bases stateside, according to the results of a national poll released Tuesday.

The killing of four Marines and a police officer at two Tennessee recruiting centers in July prompted a wave of political action attempting to allow military personnel to carry weapons while on station.

Legislators introduced bills to that end and governors likewise issued executive orders in spite of federal laws prohibiting the practice.

The Securing Military Personnel Response Firearm Initiative Act, or the SEMPER FI Act, was introduced in July and still sits in committee.

It was named for the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis,” a Latin phrase meaning “Always Faithful.”

Following the attacks, recruiting centers across the country saw an outpouring of armed volunteers flocking to help protect the country’s service members.

The Army told its personnel to treat the armed citizens as a security risk. The Navy’s response to the shootings was to set up armed sentry at its reserve centers. The Marine Corps said it would not arm its recruiters.

Eighty-one percent of service members surveyed by Rasmussen Reports agree they should be allowed to concealed carry, with those in the reserves favoring the plan more than active duty or retired personnel. Support was equally spread among all branches of service

The survey was conducted using responses from 1,473 military adults between Oct. 25 and Nov. 2.

Correction: The poll was about service members carrying on stateside bases and was not specific to recruiting centers.

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