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New policy restricts carrying guns onto Offutt Air Force Base

OMAHA, Neb. — A new policy has gone into effect at Offutt Air Force Base, south of Omaha, that bars military and civilian personnel from transporting privately owned firearms onto base.

That order came from Col. Gavin Marks, who assumed command of the 55th Wing in June. It followed a mandatory review of the base’s defense and anti-terrorism plan, the Omaha World-Herald recently reported.

The change came in the wake of high-profile gun incidents last year on U.S. military bases, including one in May at Offutt. Marine Pfc. Ali Alkazahg, 22, of Milford, was arrested at Offutt’s STRATCOM gate while carrying guns, ammunition and a silencer. Alkazahg, who is stationed in Hawaii, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a court martial hearing to possessing unlawful firearms and other counts and was sentenced to three years’ confinement.

Marks’ order overturned a previous policy that allowed Department of Defense ID card holders with a concealed-carry license from Nebraska or reciprocating states to take personal firearms onto base, provided they were inside their vehicles, unloaded and inside a locked container.

The new restriction doesn’t apply to current and former military law enforcement personnel who have permits that allow qualifying military police to carry concealed weapons.

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