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NAS Pensacola shooting raises questions about gun-free zones

Some argue that trained military personnel should be able to carry guns on base

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mass shooting inside NAS Pensacola on Friday that killed three people and injured eight others is once again raising questions about gun-free zones.

Currently, personal firearms are not permitted on military bases and only military police can be in possession of guns on base.

Some argue that since members of the military are trained to handle and operate guns, why not allow them to have guns on them while on active duty on base?

Just days after the FBI said 21-year old Mohammed Alshamrani possibly committed an act of terrorism by shooting 11 people -- killing three inside NAS Pensacola, questions are beginning to mount over why military bases continue to be gun-free zones or places where law-abiding members of the military are not allowed to carry their personal firearms.

“Why? These people are trained with firearms. Why aren’t armed?” gun rights attorney Eric Friday said.

Friday is a gun rights attorney who has been monitoring the developments coming out of Pensacola.

“The situation here is very reminiscent of the Fort Hood shooting. We have a radicalized person who because of some belief they hold, commits a mass shooting and guess what? It’s in a gun-free zone. People don’t realize military bases are gun-free zones,” Friday said.

Shannon Jones grew up on NAS Pensacola. Her father was stationed here, and her mother also worked on the base. Her son now works on base and was at the entrance when law enforcement officers rushed in to confront Alshamrani.

“I believe that if they have been trained, they should be allowed to arm themselves, especially in this time and day and what we are dealing with,” Jones said.

Aside from military police, local, state and federal law enforcement officers are allowed to carry on base for official law enforcement business.

In 2015, the same argument came up after a terror attack at both a military recruiting office and a military training facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

An attack that left five servicemen dead and one police officer seriously wounded.


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