Why Lawmakers Want Concealed Carry Weapons on the Hill

October 10, 2019

Republican congressman Ted Yoho argued that carrying a concealed gun everywhere is just like carrying your cell phone. You’d feel unprepared for work without either of them. He contends that lawmakers—and everyone else—should be carrying a weapon to work.


Presently his opinion is moot. Congressional lawmakers have to apply for a D.C.-specific concealed carry permit that would allow them to have a concealed weapon anywhere in Washington, D.C. Right now the only people who qualify to carry a handgun law enforcement officers. 


However the incident of the gunman who opened fire on GOP lawmakers at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia has sparked Republicans to introduce several bills designed to permit lawmaker to concealed weapons anywhere.


Many lawmakers admitted to carrying concealed weapons in their home states. Some are even armed in their houses. Yoho stated that he was a good shot and that he had the constitutional right to protect himself, his family, and his property.

Three of the bills being introduced by the Republican party would allow members of Congress to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in USA as long as they had a concealed carry permit.  Another bill entrusts U.S. Capitol Police with the responsibility to decide who can carry a weapon inside the Capitol. The third bill states that lawmakers may carry a concealed weapon anywhere except in the Capitol.


Texas Republican congressman Pete Sessions thinks being able to concealed carry anywhere in USA is the right move. While he is not worried about being attacked, he notes that when congressman do not have police protection, they are targets. He points to the  attack on GOP leaders at a social function just last month as proof of their need to be armed.


They attack did not have the catastrophic results it might have simply because law enforcement officers already on the scene subdued. Armed Capitol Police were present to provide the security for a member of the House Republican leadership. The other lawmakers were unarmed.


Back in their home states congressmen like Kentucky Republican Thomas Mass encourage their employees to carry a concealed weapon.

It’s time people did not feel like they were doing something wrong if they have a concealed firearm, he noted. Many of those at the baseball practice are certain they could have done something if they had been carrying a concealed weapon.

No one argues with the point that, first, lawmakers need to become proficient with their weapon.

Gun rights advocates like the National Rifle Association contend that arming American citizens will help prevent shootings. 


Those who are opposed point out that there have been 62 mass shootings in the United States within the last three decades and none of them would have been prevented by arming American citizens. Mother Jones stated that it is rare for armed citizens to intervene in a shooting spree. A study of shooting rampages agreed. Attempts are highly unsuccessful. 


One legislative director who was serving Arizona Democratic congressman Gabrielle Giffords suffered a gunshot to the head admitted everyone involved—even indirectly—felt vulnerable. Ambler stated that owning a gun, or even carrying one wasn’t sufficient. He stressed that those who carry a concealed weapon must be proficient in using it. He is now Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention group founded by Gabrielle Giffords.


Law enforcement officers spend their entire professional lives training for situations involving gun violence. Civilians don’t have this kind of training. The results for themselves, others around them, and for the shooter are likely to be catastrophic if civilians are armed, Ambler noted. 


Alaska Republican Don Young echoes Ambler’s worries stating that even those who are responsible and good shots can suffer fallout and PTSD as a result of having to pull that trigger.