In the wake of the assassination of attempt on House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two congressmen are suggesting expanding the recognition of concealed carry permits from outside of the District of Columbia. U.S. Reps Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia) and Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) are proposing different ways to expand concealed carry rights in DC.
Loudermilk wants to expand the concealed carry rights of lawmakers. Under his proposal lawmakers who have concealed carry permits in their own states would have those permits be recognized in DC.
"There are several things to look at," Loudermilk told the Washington Examiner
. "First of all, if this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn't have gotten too far. I had a staff member who was in his car, maybe 20 yards behind the shooter... who back in Georgia carries a nine 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 are you supposed to have it here?"
The only reason why the shooting rampage was able to be stopped was because House Majority Whip Scalise had an armed security detail. He was entitled to the armed security because of his leadership position. Most members of Congress do not have armed security.
Currently the District of Columbia does not recognize concealed carry permits from other states. The district also rarely grants concealed carry permits because they require a special reason to obtain one.
However, Rep. Thomas Massie wants to change that. He intends to file legislation that would require the district to recognize out of state concealed carry permits. His legislation would not just be limited to lawmakers either.
“As soon as we step into Washington, D.C. or anywhere in the public, we are unarmed and unaccompanied, for the most part,” said Mr. Massie according to the Washington Times
. “But I don’t want to extend a special privilege just to congressmen. I recognize that everybody has the right to defend themselves, and that’s in the Constitution,” he said.
Both Loudermilk’s and Massie’s proposals are expected to be opposed by D.C. officials. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton attacked the proposals as “going after the gun safety laws that protect D.C. residents.”
Currently, there is a proposal in Congress that would require all states to recognize out of state concealed carry permits
. It is viewed as a stop priority for pro-gun advocates.