NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Airmen and family members residing within the Nellis community must ensure that they’re aware of certain restrictions while exercising second amendment rights on base.
Depending on an Airman’s housing situation, different policies pertaining to the ownership and storage of personal firearms and ammunition must be followed to ensure the safety and security of the base community and facilities.
Airmen and family members living in any permanent on-base housing are authorized to store privately owned firearms in their residence. Weapons kept in the residence must be registered with the security forces armory, and the member’s chain of command must be notified.
“You need to bring all those weapons to us first,” said Staff Sgt. Adela Avelos, NCO in charge of the 99th Security Forces Squadron armory. “From there we will hold them for you and provide you with documentation for you and your commander to complete in the next three duty days.”
After documentation is complete and the Airman has received approval from his/her chain of command, the weapons will be released to the owner and can be stored at their place of residence.
The policy has one major difference for Airmen living in the dormitory or any other temporary base housing. While ownership of personal firearms is permitted for these Airmen, storage of those weapons and ammunition in the dorm is not authorized and comes with possibly career-ending consequences.
“If you’re an Airman living in the dorms, bring your privately owned weapons to us so we can register them and store them here for you.” Avalos said. “We have designated areas where we store them and we keep track of where they’re located as well as whom they belong to.”
While Airmen won’t be allowed to keep their weapons in their dorm, the armory is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week ensuring gun owners have access to their weapons whenever they desire.
“All they need to do is bring in the hand receipt that we provided them and we’ll check the weapon out to them,” Avalos said. Upon checkout, Airmen are authorized three days before returning to the armory and checking weapons back in. That three day period exists only to allow for Airmen to take personal weapons on extended trips off base – on base restrictions still apply.
Weapons and ammunition kept within the armory walls are kept in separate containers that are constantly locked and under the close supervision of 99th SFS members. The armory also provides a weapons cleaning area that allows gun owners to inspect and perform maintenance on their weapons before and after use.
Because possession of personal firearms is prohibited in every other area on base, Airmen are encouraged to make the armory their last stop before heading out to target practice.
“From the front gate to the armory; those should be the only places you go while transporting your firearm,” said Avalos. “If you plan to withdraw the weapon from the armory, make sure you’re ready to go straight out the front gate to your destination.”
Beyond the gate Airmen are subject to all Nevada state gun laws and are encouraged to transport weapons in the safest method possible. Never transport loaded weapons and keep firearms and ammunition in separate compartments of the vehicle, such as the trunk or glove box.
After a day at the range, notify security forces at the gate that there are personal weapons on board and head straight back to the armory, where they can be stored safely until next time.
While the armory is open to the storage of any legal personal firearms and ammunition, many other weapons that are unauthorized on base cannot be stored.
“Some of the things that are unauthorized are daggers, switchblades; any blades longer than three inches, brass knuckles or crossbows,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Bautista, assistant NCO in charge of the 99th SFS armory. “These items are unauthorized anywhere on base as well.”
For more information on the possession of personal firearms on base or the registration process call the Security Forces Armory at (702) 65 2-9515.