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Civilian access to military ranges?

Discussion in 'Texas Gun Ranges' started by Nietzsche, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. toddnjoyce

    toddnjoyce TGT Addict

    Sep 27, 2017
    LIbrary of Congress is archival information.

    Current versions of the US Code are located here:

    Pertinent info re: SS 4307 - 8:

    [§§4307, 4308. Repealed. Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title XVI, §1624(a)(1), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 522]
    Section 4307, act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 235, permitted President to detail commissioned officer of the Army or of the Marine Corps as director of civilian marksmanship.
    Section 4308, acts Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 236; Nov. 14, 1986, Pub. L. 99–661, div. A, title III, §318(a), 100 Stat. 3855; Nov. 5, 1990, Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title III, §328(b)–(d), (g)(1), 104 Stat. 1533, 1534; Oct. 23, 1992, Pub. L. 102–484, div. A, title III, §380(a)(1), 106 Stat. 2389; Nov. 30, 1993, Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title III, §372, 107 Stat. 1635, related to authority of Secretary of the Army to promote civilian marksmanship. See section 40701 et seq. of Title 36, Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations.
    Effective Date of Repeal
    Repeal effective on the earlier of the date on which the Secretary of the Army submits a certification in accordance with section 5523 of [former] Title 36, Patriotic Societies and Observances, or Oct. 1, 1996, see section 1624(c) of Pub. L. 104–106, set out as an Effective Date of 1996 Amendment note under section 925 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

    —— Note in the current version, SS4309 states:
    §4309. Rifle ranges: availability for use by members and civilians
    (a) Ranges Available.—All rifle ranges constructed in whole or in part with funds provided by the United States may be used by members of the armed forces and by persons capable of bearing arms.

    The operative word in part a is may. In context, it means that It’s optional for DoD to do this.

    Part 3 of SS4309 goes on to state:

    (3) Use of a rifle range referred to in paragraph (1) by civilians may not interfere with the use of the range by members of the armed forces.

    In the context of SS4309, may is imperative in that it is mandatory that civilians not interfere with with usage of the range by members of the military. That gives broad latitude to the services, and ultimately to each installation to develop regulations in order to comply both with the law and prove that in doing so, they are not allowing civilian use to impede access to military members.

    Creatively, Ft Carson solves this problem by using non-appropriated and partner funds to circumvent the entirety of the section. Non-appropriated funds and partner funds are not provide by the United States, they are provided by other entities and/or revenue sources.

  2. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Member

    Jan 21, 2016
    Thanks for the link TnJ, however my previous post with the link to 1958 was to see how you guys interpreted the historic wording/ intent of the older act to see if there had once been a requirement in the past on the Army, to provide for civilians which has now been removed/ lost? This would help to understand the original intent of ss4309.(now changed to ss7409)

    From the previous posts we have established that the current situation is now exclusive.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  3. toddnjoyce

    toddnjoyce TGT Addict

    Sep 27, 2017
    Sorry about that, I misunderstood your ask.

    The 1958 verbiage in the archives states in 4308 the Secretary of War shall.... Shall is legally binding.

    SS4309 provides the means to implement SS4308, and SS4310 allows for the Secretary of War to use military members to instruct at the ranges made possible by the language in SS 4308 & 4309.
  4. majormadmax

    majormadmax Úlfhéðnar

    Aug 27, 2009
    San Antonio!
    It's confusing as there is and has been a prolonged a legal debate between "shall" and "will," where some believe only the latter being directive whereas the former essentially means "may."

    The Federal Plain Writing Act and the Federal Plain Language Guidelines, which mandated the use of "must," only appeared in 2010. Heck, the FAA even has a "Plain Language Program Manager" (with a doctorate) to work through such issues.

    But whereas that document may allow for the use of the ranges by non-military personnel, it doesn't address the how such individuals will gain access to controlled military installations as all have become after 9/11. Prior to that event, some bases (such as Ft Meade in Maryland) were "open" in that civilians could actually access them without providing credentials. I know of no such situations any more, with a few exceptions (Ft McNair in Washington is accessible with state ID given its historical status).

    Either way, I am very doubtful that anyone without DoD credentials would be able to access much less use such facilities without being sponsored and escorted.
    toddnjoyce likes this.

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