Washington, D.C. (Washington Examiner) — Facing a new wave of potentially dangerous threats, called for by a top Democratic lawmaker, legal and gun experts are calling on top Trump aides to get their concealed carry permit and back it up with a pistol.
“There are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants. Getting a concealed handgun permit would be helpful to protect themselves and their family,” said John R. Lott Jr., president of the influential Crime Prevention Research Center.
“High level officials in the Trump administration, especially if their faces are likely to be recognized by many in the public as a result of appearances on TV, might want to consider applying for a license to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia, and/or other states they frequent, in view of the call by Rep. Maxine Waters for the public to ‘absolutely harass’ these officials in public places, and other recent events indicating the increased danger they are in,” added public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
And Emily Miller, who wrote a book about the difficult process getting a gun permit in “Emily Gets Her Gun,” tweeted, “Trump admin officials can get DC gun carry permits to defend themselves from the crazies who obey Maxine Walters.”
Mark Smith, author of #Duped: How the Anti-gun Lobby Exploits the Parkland School Shooting – and How Gun Owners Can Fight Back, added, “While I do not think Maxine Waters wishes violence on anyone including on Trump supporters, the reality is her rhetoric that liberals should ‘harass’ Trump supporters could easily be misconstrued by someone predisposed to criminal violence as encouragement to commit violence on Trump supporters and staff.”
He added, “All law-abiding citizens should exercise their Constitutional right to choose whether to own and carry a gun to protect themselves and their families.”
Recent legal decisions have lowered the hurdle for Washington residents to get a concealed carry permit but it can take a long time to get one, unlike in neighboring Virginia.
As a result, Banzhaf suggested Trump aides move now.
“Since the application process, including a detailed background check, can reportedly take some time, they may wish to begin the process now,” he said. “That way, if and when they decide that they should carry a small firearm to protect themselves and/or their families, they will be able to do so. Obviously it will always be their own choice, since having a permit certainly does not require them to carry a gun at all times, or even at any time,” added the George Washington University law professor.
The issue was sparked when three top Trump aides were harassed at restaurants. In the last case, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Lexington, Va., restaurant owned by a Trump critic.
Waters over the weekend told her legion of followers to confront Trump aides.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said Saturday in Los Angeles.
Lott noted that even though it is less hard to get a D.C. carry permit, there are many areas where packing heat is unlawful. “There are so many places in D.C. where you can’t carry, that a permit is of very limited use there,” he told Secrets.