New York Rep. Peter King, chairman of House Homeland Security Committee, will introduce a bill to ban carrying a gun within 1,000 feet of a member of Congress and federal judges. The measure will also apply to carrying weapons near the president or vice president.
King announced the measure at a press conference today with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heads a gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and who is backing the bill. King's move may indicate there may be gaining momentum for some sort of gun-control measures in the wake of the Tucson shooting.
King's spokesman was unable to immediately say whether the congressman, who has been generally supportive of gun control measures, would back a separate bill being pushed by New York Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and New Jersey Democrat Sen. Frank Lautenberg to ban the kind of high capacity magazines that alleged Tucson shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, used during Saturday's attack.
Here is part of King's statement:
“Congressman Peter King today also announced that he will introduce legislation that will make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the President, Vice President, Members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary. In the United States, it is illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. Passing a similar law for government officials would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept would-be shooters before they pull the trigger.”
King is a moderate Republican from a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. He has often worked with Bloomberg on gun issues. It remains to be seen whether any of his fellow Republicans would sign on to such a bill. Remember, the new GOP-led House is composed of many members that have strong pro-gun ratings from the National Rifle Association.