Significant Weight Lifted for Military PCS

by Carolyn Alston, MyAFB Strategic Communications

Gun safe

While our nation's military is trained in handling guns, firearms can be detrimental when handled by the wrong person. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, firearms were the leading cause of death among U.S. children and adolescents in 2020. Safety is the top priority for Airmen, Guardians, and their families.

The Joint Travel Regulations for service members were updated May of 2022 to exclude the weight of gun safes from the total weight allowance of household goods in a permanent change of station (PCS). The current weight allowance for service members is between 5,000 and 18,000 pounds, depending on rank and custodial dependent status. This will eliminate approximately 200 to 1,000 pounds (the approximate range of weight for a gun safe) from the total household weight allowance. Instead, an empty gun safe will be allowed to ship separately with a weight load of up to 500 pounds.

As we combat the social stigma of mental illness and the rate of death by suicide among service members, the health and welfare of Airmen, Guardians and families continue to be prioritized in more ways. An additional layer of protection can encourage safe and responsible use of guns within the household. The “Time-Based Prevention” approach became a part of the Air Force’s comprehensive suicide prevention strategy with a combined effort from the Department of the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program, Integrated Resilience, Security Forces, and the Safety Office. This approach focuses on a push to put time and space between a distraught individual and their access to an otherwise common defense turned dangerous.

“The bottom line is our first obligation is to the Airmen, Guardians, and families who were courageous enough to raise their right hand to serve this country,” Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall said. “Everything we do is with them in mind, and this regulation update is no different.”

Original article appeared on on May 6, 2022.