WASHINGTON - 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.
"We will see how that all plays out, but I can tell you right now we do have a process here in the District,” said Chief Newsham. “We are very comfortable with the process that we do have, and so if they want to avail themselves to the current state of affairs in the District of Columbia, they are welcome do so.”
“We of course with the Council of the District of Columbia passed the laws that we think help make D.C. safer and stronger and that is going to be our view,” said Mayor Bowser.
On Capitol Hill Thursday, one day following the GOP congressional baseball shooting where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was wounded, there was a noticeable uptick in visibility and in the number of U.S. Capitol Police officers. Officers were stationed outside congressional office buildings with long guns, and there were teams of officers transported across the U.S. Capitol campus by buses.
Congressman Loudermilk said if Scalise had not been on the baseball field on Wednesday morning, his protective detail from Capitol Police would not have been there, and those officers were credited with saving lives by shooting the suspect. He said that is the reason why he should be able to follow Georgia state laws in concealed carry of firearms while he represents his district in the nation’s capital.
Another congressman, Rep. Chris Collins, (R-N.Y.), said that he plans to carry a handgun at public events.
FOX 5 reached to U.S. Capitol Police for comment about this, but we have not heard back of Thursday evening.