LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Co-sponsors are signing on to a plan from one Kentucky lawmaker in an effort to prevent shootings like the one at the Republican baseball practice.
If you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Indiana or Kentucky you can cross the river and either state will recognize the other's permit. But that's not the case in every state or the District of Columbia.
Congressman Thomas Massie, 4th District Republican, is looking to change that after some in his own party who are licensed at home were prevented from protecting themselves when a gunman opened fire on them at that baseball practice.
“I think that shooting was a wake-up call,” Rep. Thomas Massie said. “I don't think most Americans realize that 98 percent of congressmen walk around without any sort of protection.”
With images of the shooting fresh in the minds of many, the conservative Republican introduced HR 2909 which would allow for anyone with a Carry Concealed Deadly Weapon permit to legally carry in the District of Columbia.
Reports suggest that several of the lawmakers and or staffers in the line of fire at the GOP baseball practice had permits but did not have their guns due to local laws in DC.
The shooting happened just across the river from the Capitol in Virginia but lawmakers and staffers were not carrying because they could not have their firearm when traveling back and forth to DC.
"Some congressmen have proposed just extending this privilege to congressmen, I maintain that it is a right and it should be protected for all individuals,” Rep. Massie said.
Barry Laws, owner of Openrange in Crestwood, is a CCDW instructor who recently ran into the dilemma when traveling to Virginia and DC on business.
He appreciates Congressman Massie's efforts because he stresses to those taking his classes that they must be careful because not every state recognizes all CCDW permits.
“It's critical because, if you get pulled over for some reason, they know you're carrying a firearm and it's illegal in that state. I mean, in DC you're going to jail,” Laws explained.
The bill now has 79 co-sponsors and is assigned to a committee in which Representative Massie serves meaning it's likely to get hearings and he's hopeful for quick action.
“My staff and I both carry concealed weapons when we are in the Congressional District in Kentucky,” Massie said. “When we come to Washington, DC we're basically sitting ducks.”
As of now, there are no Democratic co-sponsors of his bill but Rep. Massie is confident that some will support the plan if it comes up for a vote.
You can read the full text of the legislation here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2909?r=21