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Privately owned weapons policy months late

The Defense Department still doesn’t have a policy on troops’ privately owned weapons – even though it was due months ago. An independent review into the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood found that without such a policy, the services have been left to fend for themselves.

“The individual services have established privately owned weapons policies, which set minimum standards and task installation commanders to establish installation-specific requirements,” the report said.

In responding to some of the Fort Hood panel’s recommendations in April, the department said it would issue interim guidance for all troops on this issue by June, but officials say it is not ready yet.

“We consider feedback from each service as the package moves through the corporate process,” said Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Rene White in an e-mail. “It is not unusual for a thorough process like this to simply take time.”

The interim guidance on privately owned weapons is to become part of a revised regulation on security by early next year, according to the Defense Department’s response last week to the remaining Fort Hood panel’s recommendations.

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