I Now Work on Federal Property

This is a discussion on I Now Work on Federal Property within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My engineering office has just relocated onto NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, so I can no longer carry my gun to work and ...

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Thread: I Now Work on Federal Property

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    I Now Work on Federal Property

    My engineering office has just relocated onto NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, so I can no longer carry my gun to work and leave it in the car like I used to when the office was "off center." I've compensated by getting a folding knife, but still feel naked commuting without the gun.

    I went to a self storage business near to the main gate and inquired about renting a small locker in which to store my firearm during the business day. The smallest they have is a 5'x10' unit for $54/ month (I will seek out other like minded individuals to share the space and the rent). Due to my request, the owner is considering taking one of the 5x10 units and installing several banks of small lockers; that'll generate a lot more revenue than just the 5'x10', but, (there's always a 'but') although the day clerk is on my side, the owner has visions of groups of gang bangers hanging out at his facility with guns. Langley Air Force Base is between the storage facility and NASA, so there has got to be a lot of others in my position. I will advise the owner to limit renters to permit holders and holders of NASA or Air Force badges to control the type of people present.

    They also may prevent me from storing ammunition in the locker since the lease says "no explosive material." I don't consider handgun ammunition explosive, but I have heard dud rounds cook off in a rubbish fire behind my gun club, so I could see their point. I'll have to ask base security about the legality of carrying a loaded magazine (without a gun) through the gate. In my mind, ammunition is not a dangerous weapon unless there is a barrel and firing pin to make it go bang and to aim it. But you just know that others will not see it that way; allowing ammunition on center could allow someone to be accumulating gunpowder to build a bomb.

    Other options remain:
    1) Park outside the gate, leave the gun in the car, and bicycle to the office.
    2) Buy a jalopy with a like-minded coworker, leave our guns in the heap while we drive into the center in our commuter cars.
    3) Approach NASA about installing gun lockers at the security office.
    4) Approach NASA (this one is out there) about forming a squad of deputies who are called upon to help with perimeter security during emergencies. Deputies are allowed to carry ammunition and unloaded firearms on Center, but may load and carry when officially called upon. Deputies must train to some extent with full time security officers and qualify on the range.

    Can you think of other options? Have any of you gotten over this hurdle?

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  3. #2
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    Cartridges contain a propellant, not an explosive, so it shouldn't be an issue. However, you may need to educate the owner a bit. You may also want to give him some pointers on advertising to the CHP community to let people know that the service is available.

    I have wondered about offering such a service, but as a stand alone it doesn't make sense. As someone who travels frequently to US military bases I would use such a service on a short term basis (a week each time) for when my hotel doesn't have a safe, which is fairly often.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

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    Member Array phaed's Avatar
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    i'm not sure about a nasa facility. but, i go through a similar problem going on base (Army) every day. although we aren't allowed to carry on base without a waiver, i'm allowed to leave the weapon in a case, separated from it's ammo, in the rear of the vehicle. i can pull over, put the gun in the case, and throw it in the back of my SUV before coming on. then, just reverse the process leaving.

    with us the policy is up to the base commander. i'd check the local security policy to make sure you can't do something similar before going to the trouble of a storage facility.
    War is not the ugliest of things. Worse is the decayed state of moral feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which he cares for more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free. -J.S. Mill

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    I like the Idea of an off site storage facility, with a few caveats.
    I would want the facility to be one of those that require a code or key to enter the general storage area.
    I would like to see a Double Lock and key set up. IE A common key or code for the storage bay, then personal lock on the locker itself.
    I would also suggest that the "advertising" be word of mouth or by post on a thread such as this as to avoid too many people from knowing that their may be a weapons repository in the area.
    I would certainly hold a locker at such a facility if there was one located near my AFR base, where the policy is "Absolutely no weapons or ammunition". I'm sure that the active duty military bases would support such a facility quite well also.
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    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    The propellant answer is excellent; thanks.

    The storage facility has a drive through gate that requires a pass key. They want to set up the storage room with a combination lock that all gun locker renters can open. Then the individual lockers would be padlocked by each renter.

    There is no long term lease, just month to month, so I'm not locked into a long term agreement if I find a better solution.

    Phaed, is yours a permanent arrangement, or a temporary one due to the situation at home you were recently involved in? I don't think I could expect that type of arrangement.

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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Cartridges contain a propellant, not an explosive, so it shouldn't be an issue.
    Aren't primer caps technically considered an explosive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jofrdo View Post
    3) Approach NASA about installing gun lockers at the security office.
    4) Approach NASA (this one is out there) about forming a squad of deputies who are called upon to help with perimeter security during emergencies. Deputies are allowed to carry ammunition and unloaded firearms on Center, but may load and carry when officially called upon. Deputies must train to some extent with full time security officers and qualify on the range.

    Can you think of other options? Have any of you gotten over this hurdle?
    Good luck. I think most of that is somewhat up to the center director. Up at Goddard the director used 9/11 to close the gun club range and ban all firearms from the center. The scary part is driving up in the morning and seeing the guards at the gate with empty holsters and mag carriers!
    Rick

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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jofrdo View Post
    My engineering office has just relocated onto NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, so I can no longer carry my gun to work and leave it in the car like I used to when the office was "off center." I've compensated by getting a folding knife, but still feel naked commuting without the gun.

    I went to a self storage business near to the main gate and inquired about renting a small locker in which to store my firearm during the business day. The smallest they have is a 5'x10' unit for $54/ month (I will seek out other like minded individuals to share the space and the rent). Due to my request, the owner is considering taking one of the 5x10 units and installing several banks of small lockers; that'll generate a lot more revenue than just the 5'x10', but, (there's always a 'but') although the day clerk is on my side, the owner has visions of groups of gang bangers hanging out at his facility with guns. Langley Air Force Base is between the storage facility and NASA, so there has got to be a lot of others in my position. I will advise the owner to limit renters to permit holders and holders of NASA or Air Force badges to control the type of people present.

    They also may prevent me from storing ammunition in the locker since the lease says "no explosive material." I don't consider handgun ammunition explosive, but I have heard dud rounds cook off in a rubbish fire behind my gun club, so I could see their point. I'll have to ask base security about the legality of carrying a loaded magazine (without a gun) through the gate. In my mind, ammunition is not a dangerous weapon unless there is a barrel and firing pin to make it go bang and to aim it. But you just know that others will not see it that way; allowing ammunition on center could allow someone to be accumulating gunpowder to build a bomb.

    Other options remain:
    1) Park outside the gate, leave the gun in the car, and bicycle to the office.
    2) Buy a jalopy with a like-minded coworker, leave our guns in the heap while we drive into the center in our commuter cars.
    3) Approach NASA about installing gun lockers at the security office.
    4) Approach NASA (this one is out there) about forming a squad of deputies who are called upon to help with perimeter security during emergencies. Deputies are allowed to carry ammunition and unloaded firearms on Center, but may load and carry when officially called upon. Deputies must train to some extent with full time security officers and qualify on the range.

    Can you think of other options? Have any of you gotten over this hurdle?
    Welcome to the world of uncle sam. I also work on a NASA facility, and I'm facing the same set of issues you are.

    The strategy I'm taking is to request an off-site parking area, ostensibly for employees traveling directly from work, who need to bring cameras and personal laptops for the trip (both of which are considered "contraband" on-site). The side benefit of this would be that I could park there with my pistol in my truck, and it would be perfectly legal. I know there are couple of other CHL holders who work there who would probably use the lot for the same purpose.

    I like your storage unit idea. Unfortunately, there are none near my facility.

    When I was hired, I asked specifically about storage lockers, and was told that wasn't an option because anything stored in them would still be on-facility.

    Unfortunately, I don't foresee NASA policy changing, and I really don't see federal law changing (the same one that prohibits carry in post offices applies to NASA). That pretty much axes your "deputize us" idea.

    Please let me know if you find a solution to this. I'm in the same boat. I hate driving to work, and I hate driving back late even more. I have a 30min commute through the back-roads of rural southern louisiana, where people come to torch their cars and collect on the insurance. I swear, every darn day, as I'm driving home, I wish I had a pistol in the door next to me.

    On another note, what do you do for NASA? Are you a fellow rocket scientist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    The scary part is driving up in the morning and seeing the guards at the gate with empty holsters and mag carriers!
    The guards cannot be armed!?

    Now that's homeland security.

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    New Member Array cuda444's Avatar
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    The post I work on allows firearms to be checked at the Dept of Defense building at the main gate. People with valid base stickers and ID pull up as normal, show ID and vehicle stickers, then simply pull to the side and walk over to the DoD building, state their business, check their firearm, ammo and license with DoD and go about their business. Upon leaving, they reverse the process, get the ID, firearms and ammo back, and leave post. No problems, no hassles. But as someone else said, it's up to the base commander.

  12. #11
    Member Array unrequited's Avatar
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    Please be DAMNED sure your blade is less than 2.5" as per Title 18 930 blah blah. I just quit my job as a federal employee and had friends who knew pocket knives were okay, but were ignorant of the blade length requirement. You could always try a (d) (3) exception if you had a million dollars to fight it in court and wanted free room & board until it was settled heh, but good luck with that one... if you wanted to fight it you might as well carry your Kel-tec.

    Also from what google sleuthing I've done, cookoff temperature is usually 300+ degrees F and even then, since the rounds aren't chambered, there's no sizeable velocity increase of the rounds and they just pop around, "not denting cardboard" in bonfire tests done by crazies.

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/h...0----000-.html

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    The guards cannot be armed!?

    Now that's homeland security.
    No, they are supposed to be armed! I have no idea why I often see guards with empty holsters.... Sadly it's probably something stupid like they can't pick up their weapon prior to a specific time.

    I'd love to ask, but I've already ticked off some of them over a little "disagreement" over dog handlers and EOD badges.
    Rick

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  14. #13
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    I work on Federal property (Lackland AFB) and of course the base commander doesn't allow weapons on base (with exceptions). Daily carry and storage would be a royal pain, so I just don't bother. I would rather carry, but the trouble isn't worth it, and I sure as heck am not going to risk carrying illegally.

    Actually, it has always been a concern as Texas recently executed Vincent Gutierrez, who killed USAF Captain Jose Cobo outside of base here ten years ago during a botched carjacking. I always suspected that Gutierrez knew that Cobo most likely wasn't armed due to the base restrictions on firearms, and when I was still in uniform I felt like it was a signal that if I was near base, I most likely wasn't carrying. Now that base decals are no longer required, and I am retired and have long hair and a mustache/beard, it is less of an issue; but considering I still have disabled vet tags on my Jeep it still is a sign that I am less likely to have a weapon with me when going to/from base.

    I find it ridiculous that I not only have a Texas CHL, which means I passed a state and FBI background check; as well being trained and qualified to carry weapons throughout the 25 years I was in the service. I also have security clearances that require an extensive background checks (I am in the process of doing my 5-year update, so I know firsthand). Given all that, it shouldn't be too much to have a program that allows individuals who have the correct credentials to carry on base.

    Cheers! M2

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    Now is probably a very bad time for me to approach Center management about liberalized gun policies. An employee of my company shot and killed a NASA Civil Servant at another Center a couple of months ago.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    Here's an update: The storage business turned down my proposal to store my CCW firearm with them during the business day, so I'm finishing my fifth week of being disarmed at work.

    I pushed some boundaries over the weekend. I had some work to do, but it wasn't absolutely vital, so I could afford it if I didn't make it through the gate. I drove up to the gate and informed the guard that I had a firearm and asked if he could keep it in the guard house while I was at my office for a few hours. He was OK with that and so was his partner! Then they called their supervisor who nixed the whole thing, so I got turned away; close but no cigar.

    I've decided to buy a cheap bike and leave it locked near the front gate. I'll leave the gun secured in the car parked outside the gate while I bike to my office; no biggie.
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; August 16th, 2007 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Delete repeated text

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