Gov. Scott Walker Arms Wisconsin National Guard in Wake of Chattanooga

Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images
Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

On July 21, Governor Scott Walker (R) issued executive order #168 to arm the Wisconsin National Guard, allowing them, in the wake of the Chattanooga attack, to carry weapons while on duty.

The order acknowledges a “terror attack” on U.S. military offices in Chattanooga on July 16, as well as the five deaths that resulted. The order also notes that such “attacks are becoming more prevalent in recent years” and that “every precaution must be taken to ensure [Wisconsin] servicemen and women are protected from possible future attacks.”

The order then indicates that Article V, Section 4, of the Wisconsin Constitution “establishes the governor as the Commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state,” giving him all power requisite to that role.

In light of these things, Walker authorized and directed the adjutant general “to arm certain Wisconsin National Guard personnel as reasonably necessary to preserve the lives, property, and security of themselves and other persons subject to the threat of an attack as occurred in Chattanooga.”

Upon issuing the order 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. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members.

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