Ducey authorizes National Guard to carry guns while on duty

Arizona's National Guardsmen will now be allowed to carry guns for self-defense while on duty.

That is because Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday, allowing them to do so.

It comes as fears grow of a repeat attack similar to the Chattanooga Tennessee rampage that killed five service members. 

The order references the attack as well as the shooting from 2009 on Fort Hood that resulted in the deaths of 13 and left dozens wounded, as reasons for the order. 

"A lot of soldiers since Chattanooga have been contacting us and through their leadership expressed their concerns and desire to do this," said Colonel John Hoefert with the AZ Army National Guard.

Now certain members of the guard will be able to carry a gun for self-defense while on duty.

The reason they have not been able to do so before is because of a Department of Defense policy which presumes that people entering military facilities do not need to carry their own weapons because there are already armed security guards.

"What we're looking at here is running our guardsmen through a training program, arming them, and allowing them to carry that weapon into the workplace," said Col. Hoefert.

Not all soldiers and airmen will be issued handguns, only those at recruiting stations and certain armories.

"What we're going to be doing is looking at the outlying armories that we have that are probably less secure, and we're going to go ahead and provide people who work in those facilities with a weapon to carry to work," said Hoefert.

the Governor's order goes even further. 

"Here's a second part to that, that will eventually allow soldiers to bring their own personal weapon in as a condition of employment here in Arizona, we certainly can restrict with what that weapon looks like," he said.

Officials say guardsmen will likely be prohibited from carrying rifles or automatic weapons. Arizona is now the 8th state to arm their national guardsmen in the wake of the Tennessee shootings.

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