The Army has told its recruiters that the armed citizens showing up outside recruiting offices in the wake of the recent attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, should be considered threats and reported to local police.
"I’m sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case and we do not want to advocate this behavior," according to the Army Command Operations Center-Security Division letter obtained by Stars and Stripes. "If questioned by these alleged concerned citizens, be polite, professional and terminate the conversation immediately and report the incident to local law enforcement."
"Ensure your recruiters clearly articulate to local police the civilian may be armed and in possession of a conceal/carry permit."
A number of the armed citizens standing guard outside recruiting centers told reporters they were there to protect the recruiters since the military requires they be disarmed at work. "They’re sitting ducks," the founder and president of Oath Keepers, which has asked its members to guard recruiting centers, Stewart Rhodes told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "They’d be better off if they were walking down the streets of Baghdad, because at least in Baghdad, they could move. Here, they’re stationary."
"We're here to serve and protect," Clint Janney told the AP. "What the government won't do, we will do."