Two GOP lawmakers considered allowing lawmakers to carry firearms to defend themselves after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia and a member of the baseball team who was at the scene of the shooting, told reporters that if one of his aides had a firearm, the shooter would have been stopped earlier.
If this had happened in Georgia, “he wouldn’t have gotten too far,” Loudermilk said at the Capitol. “I had a staff member who was in his car maybe 20 yards behind the shooter, who was pinned in his car, who back in Georgia carries a 9-millimeter in his car. I carry a weapon. He had a clear shot at him. But here, we’re not allowed to carry any weapons here.”
“Most of us are here in D.C., so how do you have the gun here and just transport it to Virginia?” Loudermilk later said when asked about Virginia’s laws. “I think we need to look at some kind of reciprocity for members here.”
“We aren’t any more special than anybody else, but we’re targets,” Loudermilk said. “This is exactly why there’s a lot of fear of doing town halls at this point.”
Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, said he intends on carrying a handgun at public events.
“You look at the vulnerability, I can assure you from this day forward, I have a carry permit, I will be carrying when I’m out and about,” he told WKBW in an interview.
“On a rare occasion I’d have my gun in the glove box or something, but it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward,” Collins said.