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Personal weapons subject to registration, background checks, other rules

30 Oct 2013 | Mike DiCicco Marine Corps Base Quantico

There is no shortage of firearms and other weapons aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. However, there are also abundant rules and regulations around owning and carrying weapons.

The first rule, said Master Sgt. Terrell Lambert, operations chief for Security Battalion, is, “All personnel who reside aboard the installation need to have their weapons registered.”

Weapons are registered at the Visitor Control Center of the Russell-Knox Building, the same place where vehicles and pets are registered. Weapon owners should bring the bill of sale for the item to be registered and their Department of Defense ID card to the visitor center, where they will fill out a registration form. Those who no longer have the bill of sale should be prepared to give the make, model, caliber and serial number.

“They do not need to bring the weapon down there to be visibly seen,” Lambert said. “They simply need the serial number on the side of it.”

After the background check, registration forms are returned to owners signed and stamped, and are to be turned in to Lincoln Housing if the owners live in base housing, or to the owners’ commanding officer if they live in the barracks. Service members ranked E-7, chief warrant officer 2 or O-3 and lower need to have their registration forms signed by their commanding officer.

A privately owned weapons acknowledgement form also needs to be completed and filed with either Lincoln Housing or the commanding officer.   

The paperwork is to be completed within 10 working days of bringing the weapon on base.

And it’s not just guns that need to be registered.

Lambert said anything that fires a projectile, from a rifle to a BB gun or paintball gun, needs to be acknowledged and registered, as do other dangerous weapons such as billy clubs, ceremonial swords and any knives made for combat, for example, Ka-Bars or Bowie knives. Since they have no serial number, owners just need to provide the make and dimensions of the weapon, he said.

Jerry said the requirement for background checks was already in the works but was accelerated in light of March’s shooting at the Officer Candidate School. He said people registering weapons often don’t understand why they need another background check, having already had checks conducted for secret clearances or concealed-carry permits, but the Provost Marshal’s Office is looking for a different class of issues, such as a history of domestic abuse or other violence.

He said the background checks can take one to five business days but are usually completed in less than 24 hours.

Whether weapons are registered or not, the only people allowed to carry them aboard Quantico are military and law enforcement personnel required to do so for their jobs, and those authorized to use the ranges or to hunt on the base, according to Marine Corps Base Order 8000.1A.

“Virginia, as well as several other states, have concealed-carry permits,” Jerry said. “They’re not honored on the base.”

People authorized to transport a weapon on base include members of the rifle and pistol teams, those traveling to or from authorized recreational shooting and hunting activities or authorized places of storage of the weapon, and customers purchasing or returning a weapon that day at the Marine Corps Exchange or in the town of Quantico.

Those weapons must be unloaded and set on safe, with all ammunition as far as possible from the weapon, which must be stored in the trunk of a vehicle or as far from the vehicle occupants as possible.

The base order regarding privately own weapons is in the process of being refined and updated, and a regional working group is being formed to ensure consistency across the National Capital Region and improve the registration process and enforcement. An updated base order is expected by the end of the year.

For information on weapons regulations off-base in the state of Virginia, visit

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico