Tennessee National Guard members are now allowed to carry handguns as long as they have a handgun permit. They will be allowed to carry at state armories and facilities.
Adjutant General Max Haston told WBIR, “We have been very deliberate in making the decision to arm our Tennessee National Guard. This is not a step that we take lightly, but it is apparent that military personnel have been targeted and the protection of our soldiers and airmen is of utmost importance. Physical security and risk assessment is something that we continually do as part of our day-to-day obligations”.
Although Federal law prohibits personally owned weapons on their facilities, Governor Bill Haslam quickly pushed for the arming of the Guardsman after the Chattanooga shooting that left 5 military men dead.
Haston said, “We have been very cautious and vigilant about active shooters, In fact, we have had numerous active shooter exercises at facilities all over Tennessee, so the Chattanooga shooting kind of accelerated the process, but we were already in the process of being vigilant of taking security precautions.”
Along with this announcement which we applaud comes the decision that guard personnel will be issued 9mm handguns at the beginning of each shift, and returned at the end of the work day. Haston did mention that the weapons are not the members only defense.
“Having our soldiers armed is just another tool in the toolbox,” Haston said. “But again, I would reiterate, it’s not the most important tool. The most important tool that we have out there for our guardsmen and their families is vigilance, and I would say that to anyone. If you see something, say something.”
In the video clip below Haston talks about the National Guard operations.
We are glad that Second Amendment rights are coming back slowly but surely for our service members.
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