GOP rep working with NRA to craft gun legislation protecting lawmakers

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told Fox News on Saturday that he's working with the National Rifle Association (NRA) on legislation to protect lawmakers following a shooting in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others injured.

Collins noted that he has a permit to carry a firearm, but it doesn't legally extend to the District of Columbia.

"None of us have protection other than the leaders," Collins told Fox and Friends. "I am working with the NRA on some legislation that might be able to make common sense and to assist members of Congress and their staff in being able to protect themselves."

The New York Republican said that going forward, he would exercise his right to protect himself under the Second Amendment.


"We need to keep ourselves and our staff safe, and that's a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment," Collins said.

On Wednesday, Collins announced that he would start carrying a gun on him at all times after a gunman injured four people, including Scalise, at a GOP practice for the Congressional Baseball Game.

“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 said Wednesday.

He also blamed Democrats' rhetoric for the shooting, telling a local ABC affiliate that they needed to tone it down.

"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 TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE, his supporters."

The shooter, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, was a volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (I-VT) campaign and a member of several anti-GOP social media groups.