YUMA, Ariz. – Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order on Wednesday to allow the Arizona National Guard to let properly trained personnel to be armed on duty, including the National Guard Facility in Yuma. We spoke to Col. Leonard Dyer, the chief of staff for the Arizona National Guard, who says they will arm about 200 soldiers with military issued handguns and begin more training protocols. The order will also let them put policies in place that will eventually let their personnel carry their personal sidearms while on duty. The order was issued in response to the July 16th shooting at a Chattanooga, TN National Guard recruiting center, which killed four marines and 1 navy sailor.
Col. Dyer says an order like this has not been issued in Arizona since 911, where the national guard was requested to protect airports in Arizona. He says there is no time limit on the executive order so his staff will treat it as though it’s permanent.