New legislation to allow military members to carry firearms

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BARTLETT, Tenn. — For the second day in a row, the Marine Corp. Recruiting Center in Bartlett was closed.

People WREG spoke with said what happened in Chattanooga had them asking a lot of questions about their safety.

In fact, everyone we talked with said it was time to get rid of signs banning guns on military recruitment facilities.

Sixteen-year-old Ivan Rayo was hoping to get information about the Reserve Program in hopes that when he turned 18, he could become a Marine.

He was afraid lack of firearms at recruitment facilities could put his life in danger.

“That’s another problem too. Why would we be a Marine if we can’t have our own firearm?” he asked.

U.S Representative Scott DesJarlais announced he would introduce a bill Monday that would allow military personnel who have received firearms training to carry firearms on military bases and United States military recruitment facilities.

He released the following statement:

“Like so many in Tennessee and across our nation, I am heartbroken, angered and frustrated over the heinous acts that took place in Chattanooga. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I have spoken to countless folks in my district and one thing is clear: we must do something to help prevent another Chattanooga. Therefore, I have drafted legislation entitled the Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act. This bill would repeal bans on military personnel carrying firearms on military recruitment facilities and bases.

“Our men and women in uniform are owed the right to protect themselves and others while in service of our country. While it is uncertain as to whether this legislation would have made an impact in this particular situation, it is clear that our military personnel have become targets, not just abroad, but on American soil as well. Therefore they must be given the tools to defend themselves.”

“They’re shooting family members. They’re shooting fathers and daughters,” said Kristian Carr-Grisby who was from Chattanooga.

She said she didn’t understand why guns weren’t required at recruitment facilities in the first place.

“Why does it have to be so free to where I can walk in like we’re going to walk in and just eat and you’ll have your gun on you and you can just walk in and kill somebody. These are military professionals,” she said.

People said they hoped what happened in Chattanooga ends up being a wake up call.

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