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 that could be used in any state, regardless of local laws.
“The tragic events of last week make it clearer than ever that we need to take steps to enable members of Congress to protect themselves,” Babin said in a statement. “With the increase in security threats to members of Congress and our staffs, this is an important and necessary step that we must take.”
Lawmakers have acknowledged that had it not been for the presence of Scalise’s Capitol Police security detail, who were able to fire back at the gunman, the scene could have turned into a massacre.
Under Babin’s bill, lawmakers could obtain concealed-carry permits either in their home states or through a training program that would be established by the Capitol Police.
Lawmakers could pay for the training and certification through their annual taxpayer-funded representational allowances.
Members of Congress could carry firearms in most places under the bill, even areas where guns are typically prohibited. That would include federal parks and buildings, the National Mall, lawmakers’ offices, schools and military bases.
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.
However, lawmakers can transport guns in the Capitol complex if they are unloaded and securely wrapped.
Several Republicans have expressed a desire to expand access to guns in response to last week’s shooting.
Within hours after the…