Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk is calling for lawmakers to be able to conceal carry firearms in the nation’s capitol following Wednesday’s shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
The shooter, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, a vocal progressive activist, opened fire with a rifle on GOP members before wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others. President Donald Trump announced shortly after that Hodgkinson, who was shot by police responding to the incident, died after being taken to the hospital.
Analysis of Hodgkinson’s social media presence revealed the shooter to be a member of numerous anti-Republican groups including “Terminate the Republican Party” and “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans.”
Loudermilk, who represents Georgia in Congress, is now proposing that lawmakers who are permitted to conceal carry a firearm in their home states also be allowed to do so in D.C.
“If this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn’t have gotten too far,” Loudermilk told reporters. “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… He had a clear shot at him. But here, we’re not allowed to carry any weapons here.”
One reporter challenged Loudermilk’s assertion by pointing to Virginia gun laws, which are significantly less strict than those in D.C.
“Most of us are here in D.C., so how do you have the gun here and just transport it to Virginia?” Loudermilk said. “I think we need to look at some kind of reciprocity for members here.”
The Republican also suggested that a larger number of lawmakers should receive security protection as opposed to just the party’s top leaders.
“We’re not any more special than anybody else, but we are targets,” Loudermilk added. “This is exactly why there is a lot of fear of even doing town halls at this point. Some of the things this guy is posting on Facebook — we get the same things, and even worse.”
Watch Republican Senator Rand Paul describe the moment the GOP baseball team came under fire.