What to keep in mind when purchasing a firearm

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Klynne Pearl Serrano
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
As stated in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

As military members, the right to keep and bear arms remains.

When purchasing a firearm, what kind of things should we keep in mind? Quality and who or where we purchase from should be at the top of the list.

"When purchasing a new weapon, the risk factor of purchasing a stolen weapon goes down," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Treadwell, 97th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of the armory. "But when purchasing a used weapon from a pawn shop or buying it second-hand from someone that's when you really need to check everything out completely."

The 97th SFS uses a weapons tracker called Open Fox, which is a program that law enforcement agencies use in the state of Oklahoma to do background checks on weapons.

Treadwell explained that the 97th SFS is extending this service to members of Altus AFB to help prevent them from purchasing stolen or "hot" weapons.

"If someone wishes to purchase a weapon, whether it is brand new or used, they could call the Security Forces Base Defense Operations Center," Treadwell said. "The BDOC will ask that you read the serial number out to them and they will perform a background check on the weapon and let you know if the weapon is stolen or not."

"To maintain good order and discipline, there are additional provisions for those possessing firearms on Altus AFB", stated Maj. Michael Jewell, 97th SFS commander, in his article, "Questions about personal firearms answered."

All Altus AFB residents must register their weapons with SF in addition to state and federal requirements.

"Individuals have 72 hours from the time they purchase the weapon to register it," Treadwell said."

"The process is simple and direct," Jewell stated. "Members will be given three copies of an Air Force Form 1314, Firearms Registration, which must be signed by their commander and returned to the armory within three duty days. The member will retain one copy, one copy will go to the unit program coordinator and the final copy will be returned to the SF armory."

There are also specific rules for transporting weapons on base.

"Individuals may only transport privately-owned weapons on Altus AFB when driving directly to and from the armory for storage, their residence in housing or to the base firing range for scheduled special shooting events," Jewell stated. "Individuals must notify the entry controller that they have a privately owned weapon in their vehicle at the gate and their destination. The members must retain their copy of the AF Form 1314 on their person when transporting weapons. All weapons must be unloaded, with the ammunition separate from the weapon."

For more information about registering weapons, contact the 97th SFS armory at 481-5882 and for weapon background checks, contact the 97th SFS BDOC at 481-7444.