Fort Hood active duty and reserve personnel received a memorandum on September 5 outlining the new policy. According to that memo, the policy was put in place because of “a growing trend of Soldiers assigned to Fort Hood openly carrying firearms in private business establishments in the greater local area in an attempt to publicly assert their Second Amendment rights.”

According to the new policy, soldiers are prohibited from refusing to present a driver’s license or military ID to any law enforcement officer exercising their official duties, even though Texas law does not require people to present ID unless they are being legally arrested.

Members of Open Carry Texas, a group promoting the safe and legal carry of long guns in the state, are asking for a Congressional hearing on the new policy. They point out that it is not illegal to carry a long rifle in Texas and that members of their group and other Second Amendment organizations only participate in lawful demonstrations.

According to the circulated memo, the purpose of the new policy is simply to assist law enforcement personal in determining whether a service member constitutes a threat to public safety in order to “protect Service Members and civilians from avoidable accidents or incidents that could result in death or serious injury”. The memo makes it clear that personnel who violate the policy may be subject to punitive action.