Gov. Nikki Haley OKs armed guards at S.C. National Guard sites

Gov. Nikki Haley has approved armed guards at S.C. National Guard sites as a response to last month’s ambush-style killings of four Marines and a sailor near Chattanooga, Tenn.

Haley signed an executive order Monday that calls for a variety of security upgrades at recruiting, armory and depot sites around the state.

Additionally, S.C. Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston Jr. has changed S.C. National Guard policy to allow personnel to carry a weapon while in uniform under certain circumstances.

Among the areas covered in Haley’s order are increased hard-site security, protection training to be coordinated through the State Law Enforcement Division, and assigning and arming individuals who successfully complete training for station at all guard facilities in the state.

The long-term effect is that all National Guard locations will have permanent protection measures in place, the governor’s office said.

The announcement came after lone gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, drove to a military recruiting office and to a Navy-Marine operations center outside Chattanooga, opening fire at both places. Four Marines were killed, and a sailor wounded in the attack died, as well. Abdulazeez also died.

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