The Pentagon will adopt a broad policy governing how privately owned guns can be carried or stored at military installations after the shooting deaths of 13 people last year at Fort Hood, Texas. The Army psychiatrist charged in the killings had little or no access to military firearms in his job but was able to buy two handguns and bring them onto the base. A Pentagon investigation into the killings concluded that the policy on carrying personal weapons on military bases was inadequate and that communication between the FBI and military was inconsistent. In response, the Pentagon last Thursday released a summary of actions, including the weapons-policy change, ordered by the Department of Defense Secretary for security and administrative upgrades. The secretary ordered that the new, comprehensive weapons policy be developed to cover all branches of the military and its bases and offices. The new policy is expected to mirror restrictions already in place at some military installations that, for example, require guns brought onto a base to be registered with military police.

In a related move, the U.S. Defense Secretary also announced Thursday that he has directed the Defense Department to use a law enforcement database sometimes referred to as Google for cops to identify military personnel who could pose a threat. The goal is to prevent violent incidents such as the Fort-Hood, Texas shootings. The study described a systemic gap in sharing of data about potential, insider threats, and in exchanging information with state and local-law enforcement agencies. The problem could be solved by using Navy and FBI systems, the report said.

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