July 23rd, 2015
Supported by 70 signatures from members of Congress, Rep. Scott Rigell sent a letter Wednesday to Defense Secretary Ash Carter requesting that he end a Pentagon prohibition on military personnel carrying firearms to and from defense installations.
The Virginia Beach Republican has argued that service members must be able to protect themselves in transit and at recruitment centers, noting the fatal shootings of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week.
The letter asks Carter to give base commanders the authority to allow service members to carry concealed weapons as long as they abide by state and local laws.
Among the letter's co-signers are six other Republican House members from Virginia: Dave Brat, Barbara Comstock, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt and Rob Wittman.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he's not ordering Virginia's National Guardsmen to be armed - as some governors have done - but has asked state police to increase patrols around recruitment centers.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia also wrote to Carter on Wednesday urging him to "explore all options," including armed military or civilian guards.
"Many of our military recruiters have daily responsibilities which require them to have access to high schools and university campuses, many of which have firearms restrictions, but are equally as vulnerable as other public locations," Kaine wrote.