By Virginia RezaNovember 17, 2008
Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Fort Bliss commanding general, will grant an amnesty period from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15 for firearms violations on the installation.
Military personnel residing on or off the installation are encouraged to register their weapons during this period to avoid prosecution. The amnesty period does not exonerate any other violations and will only apply to those who voluntarily report their firearms.
"Weapons registration is an important tool to maintain a safe living environment for Soldiers and the Fort Bliss community," said Bromberg.
Firearm knowledge and safety are part of a Soldier's training, but those who have privately owned firearms must abide with policies initiated by the installation commander, provost marshal and state and federal laws.
Soldiers and their family members assigned here who live on or off the installation, including units in Biggs Army Airfield, McGregor Range and William Beaumont Army Medical Center, must register all privately owned firearms with the Vehicle and Weapons Registration Office, Bldg. 505, within 72 hours of arriving at Fort Bliss or after purchasing a firearm.
No weapons of any kind may be stored in barracks. Soldiers and their family members residing on- or off-post housing must store firearms and weapons either where they reside, at the Rod and Gun Club, or in a unit arms room. Stored weapons should be in a locked container, like a gun cabinet or gun case, or have a trigger-locking or action-blocking device.
Reports of unregistered and unsafely stored firearms in homes where young children live have been reported. Children can be extremely curious and improperly stored weapons can have a devastating outcome, said Jean Offutt, Fort Bliss Public Affairs officer.
Outlined in Regulation 27-5, the use and transportation of privately owned firearms is limited for marksmanship activities at the Rod and Gun Club, hunting on identified areas of Fort Bliss and transportation to a storage facility, such as an arms room.
"I intend for this amnesty also to apply to adverse administrative actions. However, I do not intend to limit the ability of Army leadership to counsel or issue letters of concern," Bromberg said.
Laws on transporting firearms in Texas are underlined by the Department of Public Safety. Even though an individual may be licensed to carry a firearm and, by Texas law, weapons are allowed to be stored in the vehicle of someone traveling from their residence to a location such as the Rod and Gun Club, Fort Bliss is federal land and is subject to a different set of laws.
The Fort Bliss Rod and Club, located east of Railroad Drive and Deer Street, offers a variety of services to help Soldiers maintain a working knowledge of their weapons while keeping an emphasis on safety.