These Lawmakers Will Start Packing Heat

Members of Congress can be granted 'special deputy' status
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2011 2:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Instead of taking guns out of American hands, some frightened politicians will start packing heat themselves for protection. "After the elections, I let my guard down," NC Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler told Politico. "Now I know I need" to have my gun "on me. We’re going to need to do a much better job of with security at these events.” GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah also plans to pack a piece. Both already have permits to carry concealed guns, but neither plans to carry a gun in Washington. Other politicians are still considering what to do about security.

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“Our office has never considered having security for any Alabama public events in the past but this horrific tragedy definitely makes us think about it,” said GOP Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt. Members of Congress can be appointed special deputy marshals if the US Marshals Service determines they're in danger, reports the New York Daily News. They can then carry a concealed handgun anywhere, including into the Capitol. Sen. Orrin Hatch was granted deputy status after receiving death threats in the '90s. (Read more Heath Shuler stories.)

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