The US Military, with its widespread use of firearms, has implemented strict regulations and guidelines to govern the proper storage and handling of these weapons. In this article, we will examine the military regulation around secure firearm storage, the use of armories in the military and additional best practices around firearm storage.

AR-190-11 Requirements for Secure Storage of Firearms

In the military, strict regulations have been established to manage firearm storage. Firearm storage is an important aspect of firearms safety and is addressed in AR-190-11. This regulation provides detailed guidelines and requirements for the secure storage of firearms. This is critical to reducing the risk of accidents, theft, and unauthorized use. Physical security measures, such as lighting, barriers, and locks, are used to prevent unauthorized access and theft. 

Physical Security Measures

  • Lighting: armories and storage facilities should have sufficient lighting to ensure that they are easily visible and deter theft or unauthorized access.
  • Barriers: Physical barriers, such as walls, fences, or gates, are required to secure areas where firearms are stored and prevent unauthorized access. Armories are another physical barrier that can be helpful - we'll delve into those separately. 
  • Locks: AR-190-11 specifies that locks must be used to secure storage areas for firearms and they must meet certain requirements. In some cases, the locks must be designed to prevent unauthorized duplication of keys. Other times, when combination locks are used, the regulation requires that the combination be changed annually or when personnel changes are made. 

Personnel Security Measures

Personnel security measures, such as the education and training of soldiers, ensures that individuals who have access to firearms are authorized and qualified to use them. AR-190-11 requires training on the safe handling and use of firearms, weapon maintenance, as well as emergency response procedures. The training is designed to ensure that individuals who have access to firearms are authorized and qualified to use them.

Procedures on Accounting for and Inspecting Firearms

To ensure that all firearms are accounted for, AR-190-11 requires that firearms be inventoried regularly and that records be kept of all firearms transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, and transfers. The regulation also requires that firearms be physically marked to facilitate identification and to ensure that they can be easily traced.

According to AR-190-11, weapons must be in good condition. Firearms must be inspected regularly to detect and correct any defects or malfunctions. The regulation also requires that firearms be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and that all firearms be cleaned and lubricated regularly to prevent corrosion and to ensure that they function properly.

Emergency Response Procedures

Having clear and well-practiced emergency response procedures in place can help reduce the risks associated with firearms storage and provide a timely response in the event of an emergency or security incident. AR-190-11 recommends the establishment of emergency response procedures to address security incidents involving firearms. The procedures should include:

  • Notification of the chain of command and/or emergency services in the event of an incident.   
  • Investigation of the incident to preserve evidence, conduct interviews, and identify witnesses.   
  • Recovery of lost or stolen firearms by contacting local law enforcement agencies and conducting a search.
  • Enhanced security measures, such as increasing patrols, installing additional locks, or adjusting lighting.
  • Any other procedures necessary to ensure the safe and secure storage of firearms and the prevention of unauthorized access, theft, or misuse.

It is important to note that the specific emergency response procedures may vary depending on the nature and severity of the incident, and that AR-190-11 provides guidelines rather than specific step-by-step procedures.

The Use of Armories in the Military

To meet the "physical barrier" requirement of AR-190-11, the use of armories is an integral part of firearms storage in the military. Armories are facilities or structures specifically designed to store firearms, ammunition, and other related equipment. They are typically located in secure areas, and they are built with reinforced walls, doors, and locks, as well as climate control features to prevent rust and other forms of weapon degradation.

Armories provide a centralized location for the storage of firearms, ammunition, and other equipment, allowing for proper organization and management of inventory. This includes tracking the location and movement of weapons, as well as keeping records of who has access to them. By having a centralized location for all weapons, the military can maintain a high level of control and accountability over their use.

The armory can also provide a location for the maintenance and repair of weapons. This allows for regular inspections and a proper inventory, to ensure that all weapons are present and in good working order.

Portable Armories in the Military

While traditional armories have been a standard in the military for many years, the use of portable armories is becoming increasingly popular. Portable armories are designed to be moved easily from one location to another, making them particularly useful in military operations where troops need to be deployed quickly and efficiently.

Portable armories can be transported on trucks, helicopters, or other vehicles, making it easier to keep weapons close to the troops who need them. This enhances mobility and accessibility, which is essential in military operations.

Like an armory facility, a portable armory is also designed to secure weapons. They also have reinforced walls, doors, and locks, as well as climate control features to prevent weapon degradation. 

Another advantage of portable armories is cost-effectiveness. They can be assembled quickly and easily, and they can be disassembled just as quickly when they are no longer needed. This makes them a cost-effective option for military operations that may only last for a short period of time. In fact, portable armories can be classified as equipment, meaning that no long-term waiting on a MilCon appropriation is necessary. 

Overall, portable armories provide mobility, security, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness, making them a popular choice for military operations. They are a convenient and secure way for the military to store weapons in a variety of situations.

Additional Best Practices for Storing Firearms and Ammunition

In addition to the requirements outlined in AR-190-11, there are additional best practices that can be implemented to enhance the secure storage of firearms. Some of these best practices include:

  • Physical security measures: Beyond the requirements of AR-190-11, additional physical security measures such as reinforced doors and windows, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems can help prevent theft or unauthorized access.
  • Personnel security measures: Additional comprehensive training can help reduce the risk of accidents and unauthorized use.
  • Regular audits: Conducting regular audits of firearms inventory and storage areas can help identify any discrepancies or security weaknesses and allow for prompt corrective action.
  • Collaboration with law enforcement: Building partnerships with local law enforcement agencies can help to deter theft and provide additional resources for recovery in the event of a loss or theft.

The storage and management of firearms in the military is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and security of troops and the wider community. The importance of following AR-190-11 regulations, using armories to store firearms properly, and establishing best practices are all important in meeting this goal.

CoverSix offers a variety of custom armories that can be used to store guns and other firearms safely and securely. In addition, we also offer portable ammunition magazines to aid in the safe storage of ammunition and explosives in accordance with ATF and US Navy standards. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help you comply with AR-190-11 to reduce risks and prioritize safety.