GOP rep says he'll start carrying a gun after lawmaker shooting

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday said he will carry a gun with him from now on following the shooting earlier in the day at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.

“You look at the vulnerability. I can assure you, from this day forward, I have a carry permit, I will be carrying when I’m out and about,” Collins told local ABC affiliate WKBW in Buffalo, N.Y.

“On a rare occasion I’d have my gun in the glove box or something, but it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward," he added.

Collins's comments come after a shooting early Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others injured.

Scalise underwent surgery and is in stable condition, according to his office. Two Capitol Police officers were wounded in the shooting, as well as a congressional aide and a lobbyist.

A 66-year-old Illinois man, James T. Hodgkinson, was identified in multiple media reports as the shooter. Hodgkinson was shot at the scene and later died from his injuries, according to reports.

The suspect apparently volunteered for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. Sanders in a statement condemned the "despicable" shooting.

Collins also on Wednesday linked the political rhetoric of Democrats to the shooting.

"I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric," Collins told WBEN. "The rhetoric has been outrageous ... the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE, his supporters."