The Department of Defense on Tuesday released its official policy for how and when military personnel can carry weapons for personal protection while on military bases.

The new policy is a response to an NRA-backed provision in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that required the Defense Department to allow more service members to carry firearms on base. The provision granted the Defense Department discretion to formulate a gun carry policy, but specified the policy should be enacted by Dec. 31, 2015. The Defense Department did not disclose its policy until Tuesday.

The department issued a directive clarifying the process service members must follow to carry a gun for self defense on military property. Service members who are not assigned to carry weapons for their military duties can now request permission to carry “a privately owned firearm (concealed or open carry) on DoD property for a personal protection purpose not related to performance of an official duty or status.” Military commanders retain the final say on whether or not a service member is allowed to carry a gun on base.

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