Mississippi Gov. Bryant issues order to arm personnel at state military facilities

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Gov. Phil Bryant

JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Phil Bryant issued an executive order Monday authorizing the Mississippi National Guard to arm full-time military personnel at military facilities, including National Guard recruiting centers.

The order follows the deadly attack on two military recruiting facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Thursday, which marked at least the ninth attack since 2009 on a U.S. military facility.

“I take the safety and security of our military personnel very seriously,” Gov. Bryant (R-Miss.) said in a statement.

“These men and women put their lives on the line to protect us, and they deserve the opportunity to defend themselves from violent attacks.”

Gov. Bryant also ordered the Mississippi National Guard to look at and enhance its existing security at state military facilities.

The adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, said he supports the governor’s action to keep guardsmen safe.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) has advocated for enhanced concealed carry permits for servicemen.

“I thank Gov. Bryant for allowing our brave men and women who serve in the National Guard to defend themselves as they perform their duties,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate our servicemen and women must take these precautions on American soil.”

There are about 12,500 soldiers and airmen in the Mississippi National Guard, which has a presence in the majority of the state’s counties and operates two military installations, Camp McCain and Camp Shelby.

Mississippi National Guard recruiters work in nine standalone recruiting offices as well as on college campuses and Community Readiness Centers.

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