7 States to Change Rules After Chattanooga

Wisconsin the latest state to say it will arm on-duty National Guard members
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2015 12:51 PM CDT
7 States to Change Rules After Chattanooga
A Georgia Army National Guardsman stands next to a memorial bench for Skip Wells, Friday in Marietta, Ga. Wells was one of four Marines killed in Thursday's shooting in Chattanooga.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Wisconsin is joining six other states in arming on-duty National Guard members after last week's deadly Chattanooga shootings. "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," Republican Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement today, per NBC News. The Republican governors of Arkansas, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas had already made similar announcements in the wake of the shootings.

It’s not yet clear how many or which of the Wisconsin Army National Guard force, made up of about 7,700 members, would be armed, with a spokesman for the National Guard Association of the United States saying "certainly" not all of them, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "What I believe everybody is concerned about is some kind of copycat," the spokesman tells the paper. "The knowledge that some guardsmen are armed may provide some deterrence." (The Chattanooga shooter's family says he suffered from depression.)

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