Several GOP congressmen whose names were on a list found in gunman James Hodgkinson’s van are proposing and backing legislation that would allow members of Congress and others to carry a gun to protect themselves in the nation’s capital and across the country.
Hodgkinson attacked Republican lawmakers practicing last week in northern Virginia for a charity baseball game. Five people were hospitalized in the attack — including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. – who remains in serious condition after being shot in the pelvis. Hodgkinson was killed by police in a shootout.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, among the nearly two-dozen lawmakers at the practice, and whose name was on the list of six GOP House members, said Sunday that he will introduce legislation this week to allow members of Congress to carry a sidearm anywhere in the county.
“When we’re in Washington, D.C., once we’re off the [Capitol Hill] complex we’re still high-profile targets,” the Alabama lawmaker told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But we have absolutely no way to defend ourselves because of [the city’s] restrictive gun laws.”
Two fellow GOP House members also on the list said Monday through their respective offices that they would have to see the text of the bill before pledging full support.
Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith “has always been inclined to support concealed carry laws, but he has not yet had a chance to review this legislation,” spokeswoman Jessica Paska told Fox News.
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks “is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and is in favor of expanding those rights to everyone. However, the congressman would first have to see and review the language of Rep. Brooks’ bill first in order to weigh in on it,” spokeswoman Jessica Cahill said.
An FBI spokeswoman on Monday declined to discuss details about the list but said the agency is expected to release more information about it and the entire case in the coming days.
“Those of us who are on the assassination list, it behooves us to be a little more wary than we otherwise might be,” Brooks also said Sunday.
Within hours of the shooting, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, leader of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced his own gun bill — a broader measure that would allow anybody from states that allow residents to carry concealed weapons with a valid permit to exercise that right while in Washington.
“After the horrific shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Massie said. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution.”
The bill so far has 23 co-sponsors including Reps. Brooks, Franks, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, and Jim Jordan of Ohio, all of whom were on Hodgkinson’s list.
Like Brooks, Duncan’s name was on the list and he attended the baseball practice.
Brendan Thomas, communication director for Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who also was on the list, told Fox News that the congressman supports Massie’s bill and will join as a co-sponsor.
Thomas said that DesJarlais likes the Massie bill “because it appeals to all Americans.” He also said that Brooks’ bill remains a work-in-progress but that DeJarlais is a “strong Second Amendment supporter” and would be inclined to support legislation that allows Americans to carry a gun.