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 TrumpTrump sends FBI director nomination to the Senate Alec Baldwin's Trump will return to SNL Carter Page questioned in FBI Russia investigation: report MORE, his supporters."

The shooter, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, was a volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: GOP healthcare bill 'barbaric and immoral' Sanders dodges question on FBI investigation into his wife Major progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement MORE (I-VT) campaign and a member of several anti-GOP social media groups.