INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 19,2015) – Indiana guardsmen and women will begin carrying their personal handguns at state facilities Monday morning.
In the wake the recent attack on military personnel in Tennessee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence authorized arming Indiana National Guard at state facilities and recruiting offices.
“The policies we’re implementing will take effect immediately,” Pence said at a Sunday news conference. “Across this state there will be members of the National Guard who are armed.”
The executive order authorizes Indiana Adjutant General, Major General Courtney Carr to permit the Guard to arm military personnel at the state’s Guard facilities and recruiting offices and directs several state agencies to assist the Indiana National Guard in implementing the directive.
Pence said he ordered a security assessment Friday in wake of the military shootings in Tennessee.
The result, Pence said based on intelligence briefings, is the sweeping new policy to arm Indiana’s 13,000 soldiers and airmen at its 62 armories, two air wings and a dozen recruiting store fronts statewide.
“I think it is imperative that those who step forward to defend our state and our nation have the ability to defend themselves,” Pence said.
Indiana guardsmen and women who current have a state permit to carry their personal weapon will be able to do so.
National Guard officials said a large number of personnel have permits.
“Soldiers and airmen who don’t have a permit current that would desire one will have that opportunity very quickly,” Carr said.
The Indiana National Guard is working with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police to implement the details of the order along with enhanced training.
Pence said the entire scope of the plan will not be made public.
“What we saw Thursday morning in Tennessee, where four Marines lost their life and now one Navy Sailor, were military personnel who did not have the ability to defend themselves,” Pence said. “As governor and as the father of a U.S. Marine…our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the four U.S. Marines and Navy Sailor.”