After Thursday’s attack at two military installments in Chattanooga, Tennessee, many are scrutinizing the policy prohibiting servicemen and women from carrying weapons while on military bases and in recruiting centers.
In a show of solidarity, many civilians are taking it upon themselves to stand guard outside military recruiting centers. In one such case, reported by Fox 5 News Washington, DC, a man stood outside of a recruitment center in Winchester, Virginia with his AR-15. Although he did not have immediate concerns for the safety of that specific office, he stood guard in order to make a statement and show support for the men and women inside who remained unarmed.
“People need to call their congressman, they need to call their senators and they need to change these laws that are on the books so these guys can protect themselves so a regular old citizen doesn’t have to go out and do it,” he told Fox 5 News. “The police already came by and checked me out, cleared my guns, doing their duty,” he stated. “It was all good.”
“We need to know what our rights are and not let anyone take them away,” said the civilian guarding the Winchester recruiting center. “Too [many] people died for these freedoms. I’ve never been in the military. I never served as law enforcement, but I certainly am grateful for those men and women who have died in past to secure those freedoms.”
The state of Virginia allows open carry of weapons without a permit.
According to ABC News 13 Roanoke, Virginia, US military officials are still reviewing security measures in an effort to decide whether or not other branches’ recruitment centers need security guards or increased protection.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida Governor Rick Scott has gone so far as to relocate all recruiters across the state to armories. On Saturday, he issued an executive order moving Florida National Guard recruiters from six storefront locations to armories until officials can evaluate the security of the locations.
“We’ve got to understand that you know we have people in our country that want to harm the military,” Governor Scott said. “They need to be safe and they need to be armed.”