State governors taking steps to arm national guardsmen; Florida takes it even further

Prompted by the murder of four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor at two Tennessee military installations by a jihadist Thursday, at least a half-dozen state governors are doing what the federal government won’t: they’re telling their military personnel to arm themselves.

And one of those states is taking it a step further. Florida’s National Guard recruiting offices are being moved from commercial malls into more secure locations.

The other five state governors who have ordered their National Guardsmen to be armed are from Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to the Associated Press.

Oddly, Tennessee hasn’t yet made the decision.

In a statement released Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, said he was moving six guardsman recruiting centers from their current storefront locations and into armories.

The statement reads:

Governor Rick Scott today released an executive order instructing the Florida Adjunct General to take immediate actions to secure Florida Guardsmen that work in recruiting centers in the wake of the Tennessee shooting where five military members were murdered.

The Governor’s executive order directs Florida Adjunct General Michael Calhoun to take three immediate actions:

* Relocate all Florida National Guard personnel at the state’s six storefront recruitment centers to the nearest Florida National Guard Armory until there are recommendations made to improve the security of store-front recruitment centers.

* Begin discussions with local law enforcement agencies to arrange regular security checks for Florida National Guard Armories.

* Ensure that all qualified full-time guardsmen are adequately armed for their personal protection.

The Governor’s full executive order is available HERE.

“We’ve got to understand that you know we have people in our country that want to harm the military,” said Scott, who served in the Navy, according to the Associated Press. “They need to be safe and they need to be armed.”

Watch the news coverage via CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP Channel 10 News.

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