U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks to offer bill allowing Congressional members to carry firearms nationwide

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U.S. Rep Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, talking to reporters following the shooting at an Alexandria baseball field, June 14, 2017.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —  U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who was on a target list carried by the Alexandria gunman last week, plans to introduce legislation calling for members of Congress to be armed like law enforcement personnel, nationwide, his office said Monday.

Brooks plans to introduce a bill this week allowing members to carry guns, his office told WHNT News 19 Monday.

Following last week’s shooting Brooks gave a harrowing account.  He described being a short distance from James Hodgkinson, when Hodgkinson opened fire during a baseball practice attended by Republican members preparing for a charity game the following evening.

Brooks recalled taking cover behind a batting cage and then dashing to the nearby dugout. He helped provide first aid to a man wounded in the attack and later provided assistance to House Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was badly wounded.

Brooks has previously expressed concern about member safety in the wake of vocal crowds at town hall meetings following the November elections.

Given last week’s shooting Brooks wants to allow members to be able to protect themselves and “carry a sidearm if they so desire.”

During an interview with Fox Business News Sunday, he spelled out his thinking:

“Right now, when we’re in Washington DC, once we’re off the Capitol Hill grounds complex, we’re still Congressmen, Senators, we’re still high-profile targets, but we have absolutely no way to defend ourselves.”

“I want Congressmen to be treated as if they were law enforcement, given that we’re high profile targets for the bad guys, the lone wolves, the terrorists, and I’ll be introducing legislation to that effect this week.”

Brooks said it was “concerning” that his name was found on a list carried by Hodgkinson. Hodgkinson, who had denounced President Trump on Facebook, often using profanity, was from Belleville, Ill., and was seen hanging around the ball field in the weeks leading up to the shooting.

Brooks’ office also said he supports a bill calling for reciprocal concealed carry rights for gun owners who have a valid concealed carry permit in their home state. The measure would direct states with concealed carry laws to recognize the permits issued in other states.

U.S. Sen. Luther Strange’s office  said Monday he supports broader gun carry rights.

“Senator Strange supports and has been working for concealed carry reciprocity for every law-abiding citizen in the country, not just members of Congress,” a Strange spokesperson said.