One of the victims of Friday’s shootings at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida is calling on the government to allow military families to carry legally owned firearms on base.
The parents and brother of Joshua Watson told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning that Watson, who was 23, would still be alive if he were able to carry a firearm during his pilot classes.
“These men and women are asked to go defend their country overseas or wherever and my brother was an expert marksman. He was captain of the Rifle Team for the Navy. He was well-qualified to have a firearm and defend himself,” Watson’s brother Adam said on the program Tuesday. “And, if we’re going to ask these men and women to stand watch for our country, they need the opportunity to defend themselves. This isn’t the first time this happened, and if we don’t change something, it won’t be the last.”
Three people were killed by a gunman on base Friday in what the Trump administration has labeled “an act of terrorism.”
The shooter was a 21-year-old Saudi national who is a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force in the United States on a visa for pilot training at the Pensacola naval base. The gunman opened fire after publishing an anti-American manifesto on social media. Fox News reports the gunman was also “infuriated” by an instructor calling him “Porn Stash.”
The rules on carrying service firearms vary by location, but Military.com reports that most prohibit “any personal firearms to be brought on the installation or stored in base housing or barracks,” if the individual is not law enforcement security at the institution.
President Trump is supportive of loosening gun regulations to allow firearms on military bases. In 2016, the Pentagon began to allow base commanders to make the decision at their discretion, though the Daily Wire reports that few bases have actually lifted restrictions.