Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a gun advocate who argues that expanding access to firearms would protect law abiding citizens and deter violent criminals, seemed to concede Wednesday morning that more guns don’t always enhance safety.
Appearing on CSPAN’s Washington Journal, Goodlatte was asked why guns were not allowed inside the Republican National Convention. He speculated that the restriction was enforced by the Secret Service, which believes that guns are a threat to lawmakers’ safety. The gun free zone, he said, provides “protection to these folks”:
QUESTION: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, why didn’t the RNC allow concealed weapons into their nominating convention in Tampa? Didn’t that limit Freedom?
GOODLATTE: I don’t know the answer to that question. It may have to do with the Secret Service. As you know, all of those candidates for President of the United States have Secret Service protection. And once you are inside, they want to provide protection to these folks and when you go to presidential rally, you probably are not allowed to carry a weapon into those or an event attended by the President or Vice President or other people protected under that law.
Ironically, guns are also prohibited at most gun shows, an investigation by ThinkProgoress’ Scott Keyes revealed. 51 gun shows in January ban attendees from bringing loaded guns onto the premises and ThinkProgress was unable to identify a single gun show this month that explicitly allowed people, even those with concealed-carry permits, to bring a loaded weapon. As Crossroads Gun Show put it, “We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show.”
Goodlatte is the incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman and will likely influence any gun safety legislation. He has an “A” rating from the NRA and has said that “gun control is not going to be something that I would support.”