DesJarlais' bill to allow military to carry firearms at recruiting centers passes Senate

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., speaks to supporters in this 2014 file photo.

Legislation allowing military members to carry firearms at military recruitment centers is one step closer to becoming law, even if top brass doesn't see the need.

In response to the July 16 shootings in Chattanooga that killed five military service members, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., introduced a bill with U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., called Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act. It was included as a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, DesJarlais's office said. That act has now passed both the Senate and the House.

"Before, under this directive, no member of the military could carry weapons at recruitment facilities," said Robert Jameson, communications director for DesJarlais. "Our legislation doesn't mandate it. All it says is now commanders can make the determination whether or not certain individuals in certain locations should be allowed to carry weapons."

But