Two House Members Plan To Carry Guns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Two House Members Plan To Carry Guns

KHQ.COM - Two members of Congress say they'll carry their own guns for protection back home, following the Arizona shooting rampage that has left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life. 

The plans of Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., to pack their firearms when meeting with the public were reported by Politico. Both have conceal and carry permits.

"After the elections, I let my guard down," said Shuler, who received threats in 2009. "Now I know I need to have (my gun) on me."

Giffords, 40, is in critical condition after being shot in the head on Saturday during a rampage that killed six people. Fourteen people were wounded. Federal authorities have charged Jared Loughner with the attack and court documents show Giffords was apparently his target.

The attempt to kill Giffords has prompted a heated debate on the impact of heated political rhetoric on the safety of politicians.

On Wednesday, security for lawmakers will be the topic of the day as Congress meets with federal law enforcement officials and the U.S. Capitol Police.

haffetz said he intends to pursue whether U.S. marshals who protect federal judges can be used in the same way for Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., says she calls local police to be on hand when she holds a town hall meeting.

Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., said he plans to introduce a bill making it a criminal offense to threaten a member of Congress.

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