Authority to Arm Designated Louisiana National Guardsmen
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 5 of the Louisiana Constitution establishes the governor as the Commander-in-Chief, providing:
The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the state, except when they are called into service of the federal government. He may call out these forces to preserve law and order, to suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, or in other times of emergency.
WHEREAS, Louisiana Revised Statute 29:7 states that the Governor may, with or without a declaration of emergency, order into the active service of the state any part of the National Guard in order to prevent or prepare for terrorist events and, that when so ordered, members of the National Guard on state active duty or in a duty status under Title 32 of the United States Code shall have all of the powers and authority of peace officers as are reasonably necessary to preserve the lives, property, and security of persons within the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana is proud to have many thousands of National Guardsmen who train to respond and protect the citizens and property of our State and their uniforms should not make them targets for terrorism without having the ability to defend themselves and other peaceful, law abiding citizens;
WHEREAS, there are increasing threats to the security of state military forces from homegrown terrorist organizations within the State of Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, these threats occur while Louisiana's soldiers and airmen are in Louisiana communities and when located on a state military installation or readiness center; and
WHEREAS, the Adjutant General of Louisiana should identify appropriate members of the National Guard currently ordered to state active duty under Louisiana Revised Statute 29:7 or in a duty status under Title 32 of the United States Code and issue appropriate orders designating security procedures for members of the National Guard and facilities to have the means of self-defense should such an attack occur in the State of Louisiana.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: In accordance with my authority as Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of this state, I authorize and direct the Adjutant General to identify and arm certain members of the military forces of Louisiana as reasonably necessary to preserve the lives, property, and security of themselves and other persons subject to threat of a terrorist attack.
SECTION 2: All existing immunities for officers and other members of the military forces of this state, including but not limited to the immunity provided in Louisiana Revised Statutes 29:23, 23.1, and 735, remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 3: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 28th day of June, 2016.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State