Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order Tuesday that will allow his state's National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.
The order comes in the wake of an attack in Chattanooga, Tenn. involving two shootings at a military recruiting center and a Navy operations support center that left four marines and a sailor dead.
"Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga," Walker, a 2016 Republican presidential nominee hopeful, said in a statement. "Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members."
Under federal law, governors have the authority to make changes to National Guard protocols. Before Walker's order, National Guard troops weren't allowed to carry personal weapons while on duty at National Guard facilities.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard is made up of approximately 7,700 soldiers throughout 67 state communities.
Walker joins several other governors — including Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Indiana — in allowing their respective states' guardsmen to be armed.