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.

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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 SandersBernie SandersFiscal conservatives should support postal reform  Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report Five Democrats the left plans to target 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 TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE, his supporters."