Armed Americans are standing guard outside of an military recruitment center in Georgia today following yesterday’s horrific shooting that took the lives of four U.S. Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
— Nathalie Pozo (@NathaliePozo) July 17, 2015
Led by Hiram resident Crystal Tewellow, the group aimed to protect their local recruitment center while honoring the lives of the fallen Marines.
“I teared up. I think any human being would be touched by what happened yesterday,” Tewellow told MyFoxAtlanta. “Any U.S. citizen that has a heart and a soul to hear what had happened.”
Under current U.S. law, no firearms are permitted inside of military recruitment centers and similar facilities. Tewellow, whose brother is a military recruiter, says such “gun free zones” leave American troops vulnerable to attack.
“To think the people who are supposed to protect and serve us are unable to protect and serve… protect themselves,” Tewellow said. “So if us, the citizens, who carry permits, are able to help protect them that’s, that’s what we’re gonna be able to do.”
According to MyFoxAtlanta, more than 30 armed citizens were present outside the recruitment center early this morning, with more expected to arrive throughout the day.
Similarly, a man armed with an AR-15 rifle made headlines in Virgina today after standing guard outside of a recruitment center in Winchester.
In the wake of the Chattanooga shooting, military members and politicians alike have begun calling for an end to gun free zones on military installations.
California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps combat veteran, announced plans Thursday to introduce legislation that would allow recruiting stations to have properly armed personnel.
“Until we get our hands wrapped around this, we have to allow the people who represent the United States military to defend themselves, at the least,” Hunter said. “Recruiting centers in a strip mall, they have no defense against people who just hate America and hate our military. They’ve got nothing.”
In an interview with Ammoland.com, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that as President he would reverse the Clinton-era law as well.
“As Commander-in-Chief, I would mandate that soldiers remain armed and on alert at our military bases,” Trump said. “President Clinton never should have passed a ban on soldiers being able to protect themselves on bases. America’s Armed Forces will be armed.”
The shooting in Chattanooga follows several other high-profile attacks on military property in recent years including the 2008 Fort Hood incident as well as the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting.