Both chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Forces committees are proposing a measure which would enable service members to carry firearms on military bases for personal protection. This comes after a gunman shot four Marines in Chattanooga, Tenn., Friday.
Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, announced in a joint statement Friday they will insert a provision allowing service members to carry on base in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“We can and must do more to protect our troops,” McCain and Thornberry said. “Yesterday’s murder of four United States Marines is a heartbreaking reminder that our men and women in uniform can be targets here at home, as they often are abroad.”
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Long before the Chattanooga attack, we had been working to clarify a post commander’s authority to allow carrying of personal firearms. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will reflect that work. Together, we will direct the Pentagon to end the disconnect between the threats our warfighters and their families face and the tools they have to defend themselves.
But Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno expressed concern about “over-arming” service members at a breakfast Friday, The Associated Press reported. “I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Odierno said, also expressing concern about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”
McCain and Thornberry released the statement one day after Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was killed after temporarily evading law enforcement, having allegedly opened fire on a Navy recruitment center, then opening fire on a nearby military building, killing four Marines.
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h/t: Stars and Stripes
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