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Politics & Government

Walker Allows National Guard Members to Carry Weapons While on Duty

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Wisconsin National Guard, flickr
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Soldiers with the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry salute during "Taps" as part of a remembrance ceremony June 18 at Fort McCoy's Constitution Park for Spc. Charles Kaufman.";

The governor says he wants Wisconsin National Guard members to be able to protect themselves from attack, citing the shootings that killed five servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week.

Gov. Walker issued an executive order on Tuesday giving the state's Adjutant General Donald Dunbar the authority to arm guard members as necessary and to evaluate longer-term plans to better protect all of Wisconsin's soldiers.

According to a statement from the governor's office, Walker said, "Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga. Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves."

About a half-dozen other governors have issued similar orders since a gunman shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at a recruiting office and military support center in Tennessee.

In Madison, a group of veterans had stationed itself outside a military recruitment center with the demonstrators saying they were guarding the recruiters. One vet said he was legally armed. Until now, service members have not been allowed to possess firearms at recruiting and reserve offices.

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