Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
GCVHCS Emphasizing Prohibited Articles Policy
BILOXI, Miss. – Veterans in the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) area are being reminded that certain items – including weapons – are prohibited on Veterans Affairs (VA) property.
The GCVHCS, comprised of the Biloxi VA Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi; the Joint Ambulatory Care Center (JACC) in Pensacola, Florida; the community-based outpatient clinics in Eglin and Panama City Beach, Florida; and in Mobile, Alabama, are all federal properties, according to GCVHCS Chief of Police Services F. Keith Bradley.
“Although individual state laws may authorize you to carry a weapon, it is illegal to bring them onto VA property,” he said. “At all our GCVHCS locations and VA facilities across the nation, weapons of any sort are prohibited. This includes knives with a blade longer than three inches, box-cutters, pepper spray, mace, martial arts weapons and firearms.”
Bradley added that Veterans in possession of a weapon seeking admission to GCVHCS facilities, should dispose of this weapon before admission. He also said that Veterans are encouraged to surrender weapons upon arrival to GCVHCS facilities by contacting the facility’s Police Service, who will properly store the weapon for return to its owner at the completion of a visit to the facility.
Bradley said that confiscated weapons during a visit to GCVHCS facilities, however, are handled differently.
“When a weapon is not surrendered but confiscated, the offender may be charged, fined, and imprisoned,” he said. “The disposition of confiscated weapons is then at the discretion of the U.S. District Court. Only on-duty law enforcement officers may carry a weapon on VA property.”
Bradley also reiterated that GCVHCS facilities are currently exercising enhanced visitor restrictions, and reminded visitors that no one under the age of 18 is permitted on GCVHCS facility campuses.
“These policies are in place to protect those individuals we serve – the Veterans who have sacrificed so much,” he said. “Keeping our Veterans and staff safe is something we take seriously.”
Veterans can learn more about visitation and appointment policies at the GCVHCS website. Additional information on prohibited articles at all GCVHCS facilities can be found in the GCVHCS’ Prohibited Articles Memorandum.
The GCVHCS is comprised of the Biloxi Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and the Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin and Panama City VA Clinics. The GCVHCS, headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, provides a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 70,000 Veterans.