House bill opens door for more legal concealed firearms in DC
Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) announced his introduction of House Resolution 2909 on Thursday, less than two days after a shooter opened fire on four people at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), who was shot in the hip, remains in critical condition. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, died in a shootout with police.
“If not for the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police at the ball field yesterday, things could have been much worse. What’s always evident in these situations is this: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Massie (R-Kentucky) said in a statement.
HR 2909, also known as the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act, would also allow Americans to apply for a non-resident permit in DC, if they do not have a permit issued from their home state. Reciprocity would be offered to citizens of DC as well if the bill passes.
Massie says in the statement that it is in Congress’s power to legislate in this area pursuant to article 1, section 8, clause 17. This gives congress the right to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever over such District as may become the Seat of The Government of The United States,”
“What I’m trying to do is avoid a tragic situation in the future, and what the American people don’t realize is that most congressmen do not have a security detail and we are exposed as the general public is exposed as they come to visit our nation’s capitol,” Massie said in an interview with Fox Business, according to The Washington Examiner.
The new legislation is similar to a bill that was supported by The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona) last year.
It seems as if tensions are even higher now after the shooting, as one Republican representative, Chris Collins (R-NY), was quoted as saying “If you look at the vulnerability, I can assure you from this day forward, I have a carrier permit. He continued, “I will be carrying when i’m out and about.”
Another Republican, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA) said “I think we need to look for some kind of reciprocity for members here.”
“It makes it slightly easier to get one of those non-resident permits in Washington DC”, Massie said, according to The Washington Examiner.
Massie has brought on 23 co-sponsors for his House bill.