The shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has D.C. rattled. The Louisiana congressman has had three surgeries after being shot in the hip by James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter with a history of anti-GOP/Trump sentiments. Congressional staffers and members of Capitol Police were also wounded. Rep. Scalise is a member of congressional leadership, which means he has an armed detail protecting him. If he wasn’t there, the rest of the congressional Republicans would have been sitting ducks for Hodgkinson and this could have been a more tragic and bloody ordeal. Without armed details guarding them, some congressmen are looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights and carry firearms. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) has already declared he will be armed at public events. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said he wants to get an exemption from D.C.’s stringent anti-gun laws to permit members of Congress to carry concealed carry firearms in states where it’s already law. Washington D.C. has no reciprocity agreements on concealed carry permits with other states (via Fox 5 DC):
In the wake of Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia at the Republican practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, one member of Congress said senators and representatives should be allowed to carry guns.
While some lawmakers have announced they will begin to carry side arms, others are seeking a congressional resolution to exempt members of Congress from D.C.’s concealed carry prohibition.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) wants Congress members whose home states that allow them to have concealed carry of weapons to be able to continue that practice in Washington. The District of Columbia does not recognize concealed carry licenses from other states outside the city.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Peter Newsham both defended D.C.’s current gun laws and said they would first want to see exactly what Loudermilk is proposing before commenting further.