Washington D.C.’s tough gun laws are putting lawmakers who want to carry personal firearms for self-defense at risk, a GOP lawmaker argued on the heels of the Alexandria Va., shooting that shocked the nation Wednesday.
Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk was on the field when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for the congressional baseball game early Wednesday morning.
In an interview after the shooting that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition, Loudermilk lamented that lawmakers are deprived of their right to self-defense when in D.C.
“Most of us are here in D.C., so how do you just have the gun here and just transport it to Virginia?” the congressman said regarding the strict D.C. gun restrictions. “I think we need to look at some kind of reciprocity for members here.”
The lawmaker said that, had the shooting happened in Georgia, one of his staff members would have had a shot on Hodgkinson even before Capitol Police had time to react.
“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 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,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post.
While Virginia’s gun laws allow resident’s to obtain concealed carry permits or carry openly, gun laws just across the Potomic in Washington make self-defense carry nearly impossible.
Currently, concealed carry permits are handled differently in every U.S. state, creating confusion for all Americans traveling with their self defense firearms.
Because of the confusing legal landscape, many Americans have found themselves in serious trouble with authorities for mistakenly believing their home state’s concealed carry permit would legally allow them to carry in states with more restrictive firearm regulations.
Lawmakers introduced legislation in both legislative chambers, Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-NC) Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and Senate, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, earlier this year in an effort to eliminate confusion.
Both bills would require states to honor outside concealed carry permits, protecting the right of law abiding Americans to concealed carry self-defense firearms across state lines without fear of politically motivated prosecution.