Kirtland's firearms policy explained

  • Published
  • By Maj. Brent Pickrell
  • 377th Security Forces Squadron Commander

Across our great nation, more people are deciding they would like to carry a firearm.  As with every decision we make, the decision to carry a firearm comes with positives and negatives. Among the negatives is the need to learn the differing rules among jurisdictions. 

New Mexico state law allows people to carry a firearm in the open, or in their vehicle without a permit, and to conceal a firearm with an appropriate permit.  Military installations, including Kirtland Air Force Base, are federal jurisdiction and come with rules differing greatly from outside the perimeter fence.  At Kirtland, carrying a firearm is only authorized for law enforcement, or others carrying in the performance of their official duties.  However, there is a significant distinction between “carry,” “transport,” and “storage.” 

If you would like to transport a firearm on Kirtland, you are permitted to have it in your vehicle, but a few preconditions must be met. 

First, the firearm may not be in a usable configuration; it must be unloaded and the chamber cleared.  It must also be in a locked container or compartment.  There are small gun safes available, which fulfill this requirement or you may lock it in the trunk of your vehicle. 

Second, ammunition must be separated from the firearm.  For example, if you choose to put the firearm in a small safe, the ammunition may not be in the safe, and if you choose to lock it in your trunk, the ammunition may not be in the trunk. 

Lastly, you must immediately declare the presence of the firearm to any law enforcement when stopped or questioned. 

Storing a firearm on the installation is also permissible.  Unless you reside in the dormitories, you may store the firearm in your vehicle, but the vehicle must be locked and the firearm must be out of sight.  If you reside in base housing, and store the firearm in your residence, you must register the firearm by filing an Air Force Form 1314, and a Department of Defense Form 2760 with the armory in Bldg. 20221.  If you live in the dorms, you must store your firearm in the armory.

If you have a New Mexico concealed carry permit, it does not authorize you to conceal, or carry a firearm on the installation.  If you do decide to bring the firearm with you on base, you must first unload and secure the firearm in a locked compartment.  If you are pulled over, you must let Security Forces know immediately.  If you leave the firearm in your vehicle, it must be out of sight and the vehicle locked.