PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday arming the Arizona National Guard in response to multiple shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“With the number of tragic shootings that have occurred on military installations in recent years, it’s imperative that our soldiers and airmen — people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our state and nation — have at least the same level of self-defense as the citizens they’re fighting for,” Ducey said in a statement.
Ducey’s order will allow Guard personnel to carry weapons at Guard facilities and train them to carry personally-owned handguns in both military installations and while on duty.
Prior to the order, Guardsmen responsible for security were armed and armories and recruiting stations typically were left without armed security.
After the Tennessee shootings, at least one Phoenix-area military installation requested additional security. Armed volunteer posse members from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office patrolled near the center in the West Valley city of Buckeye on Tuesday.
Since an unstable young man shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at two military-related sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 16, some private citizens have armed themselves and set about looking after their local military recruiting offices and centers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.