‘Allowing trained professionals with years of expertise to carry … makes our communities safer…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As the year anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., school massacre approaches on Thursday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are using the opportunity to push competing firearms agendas.
Both measures seem unlikely to pass the opposing chamber—and neither directly addresses the conditions under which deranged teenager Nikolas Cruz carried out his attack last Valentine’s Day, killing 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
However, a bill re-introduced by Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., would extend greater protections to vulnerable school systems by updating existing laws to give “good guys with guns” more latitude in concealed-carry laws.
Bacon, a retired Air Force brigadier general, has introduced the LEOSA Reform Act, an update to the original Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act. Its main focus would be to expand the existing code to allow qualified law-enforcement officers and retired officers to carry firearms into public places such as school zones, Amtrak stations and national parks.
“The LEOSA Reform Act will allow our law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives to protect our communities, to continue doing so by extending their concealed carry privileges,” said Bacon’s office in a news release announcing a Wednesday press conference outside the Capitol.
Retired law-enforcement officers would be eligible to qualify after taking a special, state-approved conceal-carry course.
“Allowing trained professionals with years of expertise to carry could allow them to respond more quickly to emergencies, and makes our communities safer,” said the statement.
The bill was originally introduced last June, cosponsored by Reps. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and John Rutherford, R-Fla., but because it was not enacted by the then-Republican majority before the end of the legislative session, it was cleared from the books.
Since the original bill’s introduction, it has added nine more cosponsors—including bipartisan support from Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa.
But before reaching the floor, it would first have to clear the House Judiciary Committee—where radical leftist Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Crime Subcommittee Chair Karen Bass, D-Calif.—who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus—may have other priorities, like investigating and attempting to impeach the president.
House Democrats also have in their cross-hairs their own bill to massively expand background checks for gun purchases, including the closing of loopholes that allow private sellers to peddle their arsenals without Uncle Sam’s approval.
Scalise criticized the Democrats for silencing conservative voices and for capitalizing on the Parkland tragedy, once again, to push an unrelated agenda.
“If their bill would have passed, it would have done nothing to stop the shooting that happened in my case, the shooting that happened in Parkland, a lot of these other tragic shootings,” Scalise said in an interview with Laura Ingraham. “It would take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to have a gun.”
In Scalise’s case, Capitol Police, who were there because of his role as majority whip at the time, engaged crazed Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson in a 10-minute shootout in June 2017 after he opened fire on the Republicans’ practice for the charity Congressional Baseball Game.
“I’ve got a perspective,” Scalise said. “Clearly, mine dealt with something that happened to me, and I saw how guns were used to save people’s lives.”