The Pentagon said Thursday it will not take any actions to limit service members' access to guns and ammunition as part of its suicide prevention efforts, months after an advisory panel appointed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin proposed firearms restrictions to reduce deaths.
Austin signed a memo saying the department will not impose a minimum age of 25 for guns and ammo purchases or a seven-day waiting period for guns sold at military stores, which were both recommended by the advisory panel in February. It also declined to ban privately owned guns on bases or require that commanders be notified when their troops purchase a gun at base exchanges.
The decision Thursday to reject the recommendations was the culmination of a new effort by the Pentagon to finally reduce the high number of suicides, following years of policies and spending that have largely failed to curb the problem. The earlier advisory panel had pinpointed easy access to firearms, which are sold at bases across the U.S., as a top risk.
Read Next: Marine Corps Leaders Struggle with How to Train Female Infantry Officers Amid Worries About Standards
Elizabeth Foster, the executive director of the Pentagon's Office of Force Resiliency, told reporters at a press conference Thursday that the department did a very thorough review of the recommendation to raise the minimum age for on-base gun purchases to 25.
Restricting the gun sales to service members 25 years…