Some Republican lawmakers are seeking to carry personal firearms into the Capitol, a proposal that is alarming Democrats.
Rattled by the mass shooting by a gunman with an apparent political agenda, lawmakers are struggling with how to balance ensuring security for members of Congress while keeping themselves accessible to voters.
The gamut of options includes new rules ramping up the law enforcement presence at big group events with lawmakers, equipping Capitol Police with more advanced weapons, and allowing individual members to spend taxpayer or campaign dollars on personal security measures.
And several GOP lawmakers want the green light to bring their personal firearms onto the Capitol grounds, a move that immediately alarmed Democrats who favor tougher gun restrictions.
“If that security detail had not been at that ball field, I shudder to think that the results would have been more than four or five casualties,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said in an interview. “And I believe if reciprocity had been extended to those members, they would have at least had a firearm in their vehicle.”