Commander Responsibilities under Lautenberg
Under the Lautenberg Amendment, all service members that commanders know to have, or have reasonable cause to believe have, a qualifying conviction are non-deployable for missions that require the possession of firearms or ammunition. Service members with a Lautenberg qualifying conviction cannot be posted on an overseas assignment. However, soldiers who have exercised any portion of their permanent change of station (PCS) entitlements will comply with their overseas assignment.
Commanders must ensure that newly arrived or assigned active duty and Reserve Component service members with qualifying convictions, or those whom commanders have reasonable cause to believe have such convictions, are not assigned to Table of Organization and Equipment or Modification Table of Organization and Equipment type units. Affected service members may be reassigned to Table of Distribution and Allowance type units on their installations (if available), but only to positions that deny them access to weapons and ammunition. Commanders must deny service members affected by the Lautenberg Amendment appointment to leadership, supervisory, or property accountability positions that by nature of their execution of military authority or responsibility would give them access to arms or ammunition.
Commanders should counsel service members that the inability to complete service schools may impact future promotions and affect their ability to reenlist. Service members barred from reenlistment based on a Lautenberg qualifying conviction occurring after 30 September 1996 may not extend their enlistment. However, such service members must be given a reasonable time to seek expunction of the conviction or a pardon. This retention policy is subject to the "Sanctuary Provisions" of 10 U.S.C. 1176, which allows enlisted soldiers with more than 18 years of service but less than 20 years of service to remain on duty until eligible for retirement.
All active duty personnel identified as being affected by the Lautenberg Amendment will be reported to PERSCOM using the assignment consideration code (ASCO) L9 (Lautenberg Amendment). Enlisted service members who are on orders to OCONUS assignment will be considered for deletion through normal deletion procedures at HQS PERSCOM (TAPC-EPC-O). Specific PERSCOM guidance on reporting requirements can be reviewed at MILPER Message No. 99-159, Procedural Guidance on the Reporting of Soldiers Affected by the Lautenberg Amendment.
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If you have been affected by, or have questions regarding Lautenberg, it is critical that you consult with an experienced court martial defense lawyer as soon as possible to understand all of your rights.