Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Jenkins: Arm Military Recruiters ; Congresswoman Recalls Topekan's Terrorism Charges in Push for Action

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Jenkins: Arm Military Recruiters ; Congresswoman Recalls Topekan's Terrorism Charges in Push for Action

Article excerpt

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins made reference to the case of a young Topeka man indicted on terrorism charges Wednesday in making the case for legislation allowing military officers to carry weapons at recruiting centers.

"Last week, there was a horrific act of terror in Tennessee. And earlier this year, a young man was arrested at home in Kansas while allegedly attempting a similar attack," said Jenkins, a Republican. "These are stark reminders that even here at home our brave men and women remain targets of those who wish to do us harm."

John Booker Jr., of Topeka, was arrested April 10 near Fort Riley and charged in federal court with attempting to detonate a suicide bomb at the military installation. Booker faces one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State militant group.

On Thursday, Kuwaiti-born Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, fired dozens of rounds into a military recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tenn., before driving to a second site where he shot and killed four Marines and a Navy officer. In addition to the deceased, a Marine recruiter and police officer also were injured.

The Tennessee shooting has prompted a chorus of conservatives calling for the Department of Defense to arm military recruiters or provide armed support at recruitment centers.

"Our military men and women should feel empowered, no matter where they are serving," Jenkins said. "It is indefensible that those we have trained to use firearms to protect us are not afforded the same basic 'right to bear arms' while on duty here at home."

The office of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican representing Kansas' 1st District, said Wednesday that Huelskamp supports the effort. Rep. Kevin Yoder stated his support in a Facebook post Friday.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., introduced the Securing Military Personnel Response Firearm Initiative Act, or "Semper Fi Act," on Tuesday, a reference to the Marine Corps slogan "semper fidelis. …

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