Armed citizens patrol outside recruitment center in wake of Chat - WNEM TV 5

Armed citizens patrol outside recruitment center in wake of Chattanooga shooting

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FLINT TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

"America has an enemy that is motivated," said Troy Wright.

That motivation inspired armed civilians, like Troy Wright and Kyle Pezzi to protect a military recruitment station in Flint Township.

"I love this country and I’m willing to give my life for those who serve the country," Pezzi said.

With his rifle loaded, the 19-year-old stands on guard. He is joined by his mother Sarah Pezzi and 11 year-old Alex. The Pezzi family believe this is their patriotic duty to support our military in the wake of the tragedy in Chattanooga.

They were on guard on Monday and Tuesday.

"It’s not right that our recruiters are just sitting ducks," Alex Pezzi said.

Michigan’s open carry laws allow citizens with legal firearms to display their weapons as long as they are not concealed.

Across the nation, military officials are advising against this kind of activity, but Wright said the reaction and the reception he’s received from those in uniform is favorable.

"Gratitude,” Wright said. “They have thanked us they appreciate us being out here to support them."

Some states have called on the National Guard to patrol these recruitment centers. Dave McKellar of the Genessee County Volunteer Militia League agrees.

"Governor Snyder should have called out mobilize the guard to defend and protect each of these centers," McKellar said.

Critics say these armed citizens are looking for publicity and over the top.

"It wasn't necessary what happen in Chattanooga,” McKellar said. “We lost five good service men there. Five Americans – how can that be over the top?"

Some officers said they were very appreciative to what these armed citizens are doing, not only are the standing up for them, but they are standing up for America too.

Michigan lawmakers are also pushing for reform. Rep. Candice Miller co-sponsored federal legislation that would repeal any law or rule that prohibits military personnel trained in firearms from carrying firearms on military bases or recruitment facilities.

Miller said in a statement:

"These men and women are highly trained to safety and effectively use firearms for our protection and theirs, and banning them from carrying them on military bases or at recruitment centers, especially given today’s threat, simply doesn’t make sense and puts them in danger."

>>Click here to read the full statement<<

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