GOP lawmakers consider carrying guns after baseball practice shooting

Two Republican members of Congress indicated Wednesday that they would consider carrying guns after the baseball practice shooting that wounded Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, and others.

“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,” Rep. Chris Collins, R-NY, said in an interview with WKBW.

Collins, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress, said he did not routinely carry, but the shooting has changed his mind about when and where he should have his firearm.

“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.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-GA, was present at the shooting and spoke on the issue as well, telling reporters that one of his aides would have had a “clear shot” at the attacker if they had been carrying a firearm, the Washington Post reported.

“If this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn’t have gotten too far,” Loudermilk said. “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 9mm in his car.”

Loudermilk criticized Washington D.C.’s strict gun laws and suggested Congress should consider “some kind of reciprocity” for members who have concealed carry permits from their home states.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, or HR38, currently sitting in a House subcommittee, would do just that. It’s backed by the White House and gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association. Opponents of the measure — like Everytown for Gun Safety — say it would interfere with states’ rights and allow potentially dangerous people to carry hidden guns into states that may prevent the practice.