Tennessee Army, Air National Guard allowed to carry handguns

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NASHVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee’s Army and Air National Guard announced Thursday that that members with valid Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permits will be allowed to carry handguns at state armories and facilities.

The decision comes after dozens of shots were fired at servicemen at an Army National Guard and armed forces recruiting center in Chattanooga. Shortly afterwards, Governor Bill Haslam asked the military to review security policies.Previous story:Haslam calls for review of security policies and procedures 

“We have been very deliberate in making the decision to arm our Tennessee National Guard,” said Major General Max Haston. “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.”Continuing coverage:Chattanooga shooting

Haston also said certain Guard personnel would be allowed to carry federally issued handguns. “Federal law prohibits carrying a personally owned weapon on a Federal facility,” said Haston. “Therefore, selected personnel working on Federal property will draw and carry a federally issued firearm for protection.”

After the shooting in Chattanooga, Major General Haston immediately moved Army National Guard recruiters from storefront locations to nearby armories while they evaluated security measures.

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