Rep. Gohmert clarifies intent behind bill allowing members to carry handguns in D.C.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) clarified Friday that it was never the congressman's intention to propose legislation that would allow members to carry weapons on the House floor. 

"The intent of the legislation I'm working on is to allow a member of Congress to carry a concealed handgun within Washington, D.C. and Capitol grounds," Gohmert said in an e-mailed statement Friday morning. 

Gohmert earlier this week announced plans to introduce legislation allowing members to carry handguns in D.C. He indicated he was concerned about bills introduced in the wake of the Arizona shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that he said infringed on the Second Amendment. 

Several news outlets, including The Hill, carried stories that said Gohmert's legislation would allow members of Congress not only to carry handguns in D.C., but on the House floor as well. 

In a Friday statement, Gohmert said Capitol Police provide protection for members and that lawmakers do not need to bring weapons to the floor.

"Members of Congress don't need weapons on the floor since the U.S. Capitol itself is very well protected by some of the greatest men and women in law enforcement today," Gohmert said.

Gohmert said lawmakers shouldn't need police protection around the clock, but added that there are times when they could need a gun when traveling in D.C.

"But there are times when members of Congress do not have the protection of Capitol Hill Police in one of the most dangerous cities in America," he said. "We don't need to spend millions on massive security details to escort everyone 24-7. We can just allow those who have been trusted by hundreds of thousands of people and sent to our crime capitol to protect themselves while in that federal enclave."