Republican prepares bill to let lawmakers carry guns on House floor
In response to gun control bills put forth by members of both parties in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is planning to introduce legislation that permits lawmakers to carry firearms on the floor of the House and in Washington, DC.
“There is a rash of legislation further infringing on Second Amendment rights that has been unwisely proffered in the wake of events in Tucson,” Gohmert told The Hill.
“If members of Congress wishes to carry a weapon in the federal District of Columbia, it should be permissible. Accordingly, we are in the process of drafting a bill that will allow members of Congress to do that,” he said.
The plan by Gohmert, a staunch gun rights advocate, came as a rebuke to three bills announced by different members of Congress seeking stronger regulations on guns and ammunition in the wake of shootings Saturday that killed six, including a federal judge, and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and at least a dozen others.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) proposed legislation sought to ban guns carried within 1,000 feet of members of Congress. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) announced plans for a measure restricts the buying and selling of high-capacity ammunition clips, like the one purchased legally and used by 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has voiced his support for the same proposal.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) introduced a bill Wednesday seeking to close a loophole that allows unauthorized gun dealers to sell firearms at gun shows and allows buyers to purchase them without an otherwise mandatory FBI background check.
The three measures face long odds in Congress, which has grown increasingly adverse to gun control legislation in the last fifteen years, largely in response to the vast political influence of the pro-gun lobby.
Already, the House’s two senior-most Republicans have rejected King’s proposal, as many conservatives argue that stronger gun laws are neither necessary nor helpful in preventing further tragedies like Tucson.
Gohmert told The Hill that lawmakers should be able to defend themselves from “sudden acts of violence like the heartless shooting in Tucson, Arizona.”