Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today issued a directive to Adjutant General Max Haston to review security policies and procedures at National Guard armories, storefront recruiting facilities, and other installations and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of Guardsmen, citizens, and property. He also instructed Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons to assess the process for issuing handgun carry permits to trained members of the military and to look for ways to streamline it.
Governor Haslam directed General Haston to do the following:
- Review current Guard personnel who are authorized to be armed in the performance of their duties, and identify and arm additional Guardsmen where necessary to protect themselves, citizens, and Guard facilities;
- Immediately examine the security of Guard storefront recruiting centers and work with the U.S. Department of Defense to pursue any available opportunities to enhance the safety of those operations within current federal law and regulations.
All stateside U.S. military bases and stations are currently at a force protection status of “Bravo,” and General Haston will review with the U.S. Department of Defense all means within this status and the confines of current federal laws and regulations to ensure that facilities in Tennessee are secure. Governor Haslam will also work with the Tennessee congressional delegation on appropriate solutions at the federal level to secure military buildings.
In addition to the Adjutant General’s review, Governor Haslam directed Commissioner Gibbons to evaluate the process for obtaining handgun carry permits for members of the military who have received appropriate training. At present, members of the military may forgo taking a state training course with possession of a military ID and documentation of handgun training through their service. However, in light of the shootings in Chattanooga and threats to service members, Governor Haslam has asked that alternatives be considered to make the process quicker and easier for military personnel to obtain permits.
Governor Haslam traveled to Chattanooga on Thursday and Friday in the wake of the shootings that resulted in the tragic deaths of four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor. He has visited with the families of the victims and will continue to work closely with state, local, and federal law enforcement officials.