A Republican lawmaker introduced legislation on Tuesday to allow trained members of Congress to carry guns for self-defense in the wake of last week’s shooting at a GOP baseball practice.Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) wants to ensure all lawmakers can qualify for concealed-carry permits. The permit could be used to carry guns in any state, regardless of local laws. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) also said that witnessing the shooting attack last week motivated the need to change D.C. gun laws. A gunman opened fire last Wednesday at the Republican congressional baseball team’s early-morning practice in Alexandria, Va. Four people were shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Under Babin’s bill, lawmakers could obtain concealed-carry permits either in their home states or through a training program. The program would be established by the Capitol Police. Rep. Brooks also plans to introduce legislation this week to allow members of Congress to carry concealed weapons. A lawmaker could carry a weapon anywhere in the United States, except the Capitol or at events where the president and vice president are present. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) accused Brooks of politicizing the shooting and trying to interfere with local laws passed by elected officials. Brooks was on the playing field when the shooting began last week at the Republican congressional baseball practice. Rep. Brooks said Norton might react differently if she was pinned in a dugout during a shooting. [caption id="attachment_2685" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks during a news conference with House and Senate members[/caption]
Lawmakers currently face restrictions on carrying guns when they are in Washington. The District of Columbia has strict gun laws, and firearms are prohibited in the Capitol. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) also introduced legislation that would allow people with concealed-carry permits in their home states to possess guns in Washington, D.C. “To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” Massie said. He noted that the shooting took place in Virginia, where gun laws are less restrictive than in the District. It’s a state where owners can carry their guns openly without special permission. Washington, D.C. also has a concealed-carry permit process, but few people meet the qualifications.
Maybe Eleanor Holmes Norton is willing to go down without a fight. I’m not,” he said. “It’s one thing to talk hypothetical, it’s another thing to talk real life. . . . I suspect Eleanor Holmes Norton would have a different opinion if she experienced the kind of situation and frustration that we experienced.”