Some Tennessee National Guard recruiters will be packing heat under new rules

NASHVILLE -- When Tennessee National Guard recruiters return to their storefront stations, select members will be packing federally issued 9 mm handguns to defend themselves from would-be future attacks like the July 16 assault on a U.S. military training center in Chattanooga.

The move, a major departure from past policy, was announced along with other steps Thursday by Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee's adjutant general who is in charge of the National Guard.

Those steps include allowing Guard members with proper background checks and state-issued handgun carry permits to bring their weapons to state armories and related state facilities.

"It was a thoughtful process and that's what we wanted it to be," Haston said in an interview. "After what went on in Chattanooga, that horrible tragedy, I think every military agency across the nation took a harder look at their security policies and how well you're taking care of your people."

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