(AP/MEDIA GENERAL) – Following Thursday’s shooting at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, military recruiting center, Florida and Texas’ governors have called for National Guard personnel to be armed while on base.
Extended coverage: Chattanooga Shootings
In an executive order, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he wants recruiters to move from six storefront locations across the state into armories until state officials can evaluate and make security improvements, including possibly installing bullet-proof glass or enhanced surveillance equipment.
Since the Tennessee shootings, which left four Marines and one Sailor dead, security at recruiting centers has come under scrutiny. Military officials have said security at recruiting and reserve centers will be reviewed, but the Army’s top officer, Gen. Ray Odierno, said it’s too early to say whether the facilities should have security guards or other increased protection.
Scott’s order also calls on National Guard officers to make sure all full-time members of the guard are armed. The governor said a weapon will be given to members of the guard who do not currently have them.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday that he will authorize the arming of National Guard personnel at military facilities across his state.
“It is with a heavy heart that I issue this order,” Abbott said. “After the recent shooting in Chattanooga, it has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these type of attacks on our own soil. Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our service men and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base.”
— Matt Jaworowski of the Media General National Desk and KXAN’s Rachael Teague contributed to this report.