Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
The Combat Center began selling guns at the Marine Corps Exchange March 6 and has been the first time firearms have been sold on base in nearly 12 years.
The gun shop provides Combat Center residents with a wide variety of firearms, as well Airsoft and BB guns.
The Provost Marshal’s Office has worked with the Exchange since 2011 to ensure all legal and safety procedures were followed.
“We’ve been working closely with them to make sure that all of us are doing the right thing and being as safe as possible and not inconveniencing the Marines or families,” said Dennis Andersen, divisional sales manager of the MCX. “They’ve been great about doing this whole thing. It has worked out nice and has been very well accepted by the general population of the base.”
The gun shop sells everything from rifles and shotguns to single-action and double-action revolvers as well as semiautomatic pistols. However, it’s not only their great variety that benefits customers.
Unlike off-base establishments, the gun shop does not charge patrons sales taxes on their products due to their on- base location.
“There’s no tax on it just like anything else you’re going to buy in the exchange,” Andersen said. “So you’re getting quite a bit of savings.”
If you buy a $1,700 rifle, you’ve saved more than a hundred dollars in taxes, Andersen added.
The purchase of weapons on base is exclusive to Combat Center residents and excludes Marines in transit or in school. Family members are also allowed to purchase products as long as they have exchange privileges and meet the state’s requirements.
The rules to buy firearms on base follow state laws and regulations set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Any purchase of a firearm requires a background check and a 10-day waiting period. You must be 18 years old or older to purchase rifles or their ammunition and at least 21 to buy handguns or their ammunition.
Ammunition sold at the shop is limited to three boxes per person, per day. This limitation on ammunition is due to an unprecedented shortage, according to Andersen.
“People are starting to stockpile it because, with the gun control act that’s going in front of Congress, everybody freaked out,” Andersen said. “Ammunition is like gold. It’s hard to find.”
In addition to the state’s requirements, the Combat Center requires all its residents to register firearms with PMO at the vehicle registration office if they live on base. Marines residing in bachelor-enlisted quarters must also keep their weapons and ammunition at the armory.
For more information about regulations for owning firearms on base call the vehicle registration office at 830-6794.