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Michigan lawmakers consider requiring armed guardsman at state military installations

Michigan Army National Guardsmen earlier this year.
Master Sgt. Sonia Pawloski
wikimedia commons

Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill to require that every National Guard facility have at least one armed solider on duty. The bill is in response to recent shootings at a U.S. Army base in Texas and a recruiting office in Tennessee.

“HB 5357 will ensure that security at our state military facilities is not left to chance and that personnel in every Michigan National Guard facility will be able to defend themselves and their colleagues from terrorist or other attack,” Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Midland) wrote in a recent email to supporters of his bill.

A state House committee heard testimony on the bill last week.

The bill is opposed by the Michigan National Guard.

Lt. Colonel William Humes describes the bill as “good intentioned”, but says it would violate a federal ban.

“The policy prevents soldiers at federal installations, on a blanket approach, to be armed.   That’s the policy we adhere to for now,” says Humes.

Humes says the legislation may help open a dialogue about the security issue.

The Michigan National Guard does allow soldiers with concealed carry licenses to be armed on duty.

There are 43 National Guard Armories in Michigan, along with a large number of recruiting offices located around the state.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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