• DS BS? State Department Firearms Policy Classified Days After Deedy Shooting

    August 26, 2013

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    Curiouser and curioser as they say.

    A reader called our attention to the fact that the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security removed its long-unclassified version of its firearms policy from the web and classified it very soon (11/29/2011) after one of its Special Agents, Chris Deedy, shot a man while off duty in Hawaii (11/5/2011). That trial has entered jury deliberations and a verdict is expected soon.

    There is no paper trail to explain why State made the change, and thus of course no way to demonstrate it is directly related to Deedy. A coincidence, yes?

    State’s firearms policy lived online in the Foreign Affairs Manual, a huge set of rules and regs that govern the work of State. Specifically, the section in question is called 12 FAM 023 FIREARMS POLICY AND REVIEW BOARD (FPRB). That section as available to the public, now reads, in its entirety:

    a. The Diplomatic Security Firearms Policy and Review Board is an ad hoc advisory board to the Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DS/DSS). See 1 FAM for further information.

    b. For the FPRB-revised U.S. Department of State Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, approved by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. on November 29, 2011, and promulgated herein, see 12 FAM Exhibit 023. Additional procedures previously contained in 12 FAM Exhibit 023 have been relocated to 12 FAH-9, available on ClassNet.

    Changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual usually are accompanied by a transmittal notice. Here’s that that says:

    This issuance updates the Department of State’s Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, found in Exhibit 023. Much of the material previously found in this exhibit has been moved to 12 FAH-9, as follows: (My Note: the two sections listed are the FROM and TO portions)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.6 12 FAH-9 H-020 Standards of (Standards of Conduct for Armed Conduct DSS Special Agents)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.5 12 FAH-9 H-030 Prescription (Prescription Medication) Medication

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.10 12 FAH-9 H-040 Firearms Officers (Firearms Officers)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.15 12 FAH-9 H-050 Disciplinary Action (Disciplinary and Other Action)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.4 12 FAH-9 H-110 Qualification (Qualification)

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.11 12 FAH-9 H-211 Carrying Firearms (Carrying Firearms on Aircraft) on Aircraft

    12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.12 12 FAH-9 H-212 Other

    COMMENT: The move of these regulations from unclassified to classified was made formal on November 29, 2011. Deedy shot the guy on November 5, 2011. One wonders exactly when Diplomatic Security started the change-over, and why.

    What this all means is that the State Department’s rules for how its armed Diplomatic Security agents act in public are classified. A jury can’t see them. A defense lawyer can’t see them. You can’t see them.

    One wonders why State’s policies need to be secret. The FBI, in contrast, has a handy online explanation. The broader laws that cover concealed carry by law enforcement are equally available.

    What’s up State? Why did your Standards of Conduct and regs about Prescription Meds need to become classified? Why can’t the public you interact with know whether your agents can carry while affected by their meds?

    The usual web tools (Wayback, etc.) do not pull up the old version of the FAM. Anyone who happens to have an older unclassified version of 12 FAM hanging around may wish to share…

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      One can’t blame The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight for trying to keep their dirty secrets from the American public. Hey, it worked for Benghazi.

      08/26/13 2:27 PM | Comment Link

    • franklin huddle said...


      The 2004 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act prohibits carrying of firearms while under the influence of alcohol.

      As of 2002 in my COM days, we had a similar probition.

      usually old FAMs are easy to come by

      08/26/13 10:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      What is the *legal* basis for suddenly classifying an unclassified policy — whereas the FBI, a bona fide law enforcement agency does not have the same kind of policy classified?

      Just some other questions:

      Was the Department’s policy raised during the court proceedings? If not, the next question is why was it not discussed? Wouldn’t it be relevant to the proceedings?

      The Department’s internal investigation of Deedy is not supposed to be finished prior to the verdict. Is that normal timing for such a Department investigation, considering this case has been pending since November 2011?

      3. Some interesting points recently made in a couple of Hawaiian news sites that there may have been a possible fire arms policy violation, but no specific policy is sourced:

      Honolulu labour attorney, Elbridge Smith an expert on federal employees, was interviewed by a Hawaiian news site and was quoted as saying that:

      “..Even if Deedy beats the murder charge but is convicted of a felony firearm violation, Smith said he would likely lose his job.

      “Normally agents who are convicted of a crime, especially if it’s a felony, they would be removed because they can’t testify. A U.S. attorney won’t take an agent who’s been convicted of a crime in any case,” Smith said. ”

      (See full article here –

      This Hawaiian news site makes mention that it is a violation of State policy to be armed while under the influence — again, no FAM citation is given nor did the writer cite any other source for this

      (See full article: http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2013/07/10/19492-deedy-trial-mcdonalds-video-is-of-such-poor-quality-its-little-help/)

      Why was no breathalizer taken for Deedy? The Hawaiian police could per state law have ordered Deedy to submit to a breath test, but did not

      A day or two just after the Zimmerman verdict, Deedy’s defense lawyer changed his plea from basically acting in the scope of official duties to one of self defense. Would Hawaii’s being a ‘castle doctrine’ state and not a ‘stand your ground state’ possibly result in a nonconviction for Deedy? A couple of links on Hawaii’s law, the second being the law itself:


      What is the basis for allowing Agent Deedy to keep a desk position, then be placed on paid admin leave *at the start of a court trial* — whereas two Benghazi staffers who were demoted *for speaking to Congress* and then had to be *cleared* by Secretary Kerry?

      08/27/13 1:19 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Because DS claims its primary role is protective and not “typical” law enforcement, it carries a number of agents on its payroll who, because of prior convictions of their own, cannot testify in court.

      08/27/13 12:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      (Ok sorry posted this and then saw Mr Huddle’s post on carrying a weapon as an agent while under the influence)

      08/27/13 1:21 AM | Comment Link

    • winter said...


      08/27/13 2:44 AM | Comment Link

    • robert wise said...


      Oh man. Look here, DS agents carry guns. No secret. There are laws and regulations concerning this. They ARE a law enforcement group. Forget the angry comments, agents are in fact law enforcement officers just like FBI or USSS or USMS or ATF or DEA. Enough alphabet soup there to convince you that if you mess up, a DS agent can do legally authorized things to stop you. This isn’t a secret. What is secret is how DS punishes its own or FSO’s. That is something that no one understands. Just look:
      Even these people did not get a chance at defending themselves. So what makes anyone think it’s amazing that the firearms regs are suddenly classified (not even sure why, everyone knows what they are – don’t drink and carry; don’t shoot without good reason). This is crazy stuff and many people are getting hurt by sheer incompetency or downright retribution. But nothing to see here. Thank SID and other brilliant “leaders” for all of this.

      08/27/13 4:26 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      The classifying of what should be clear and public rules is symptomatic of the other abuses and mismanagement within DS. That all makes them more dangerous and less accountable than other law enforcement personnel.

      08/27/13 12:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      SECSTATE Kerry had no comment on the Deedy mistrial. He was too busy working on his WMD slide show for the UN.

      08/27/13 1:03 PM | Comment Link

    • marc said...


      I don’t think it matters much what State’s formal policy is. As it was demonstrated without a doubt in Iraq and Afghanistan the booze flows freely among State Department personnel particularly the armed security contractors.

      08/27/13 3:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Babbaloo said...


      “As it was demonstrated without a doubt in Iraq and Afghanistan the booze flows freely among State Department personnel particularly the armed security contractors.”

      Marc you speak the truth. Too bad the people in HR, OPR, PSS all think sticking their heads up their rears is enough to make the serious alcohol issues disappear. Seemed like they also did some frequent and serious coin flipping with respect to who they gave an alcohol pass to. Crazy. You – alcoholic, keep your job. You – alcoholic, we think, maybe, well maybe not, oh shit if we know, you know what, no you don’t keep your job. WTF

      @ PVB: “Because DS claims its primary role is protective and not “typical” law enforcement, it carries a number of agents on its payroll who, because of prior convictions of their own, cannot testify in court.” Can you or anyone else explain how this works? How many? What are the incidents? Are any of them working in internal affairs or investigating people that have done similar crimes? Again, WTF??

      08/29/13 1:16 AM | Comment Link

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