As Democratic and Republican members rush to line up with new bills to restrict speech or guns after the Tucson massacre, Rep. Peter King once again will not be outdone in criminalizing conduct. He is reportedly planning to introduce a bill that would 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. This, of course, raises the problem with politicians being mobile. In states allowing concealed weapons, the appearance of any federal official or judge would require a fast estimation of 1,000 feet to avoid criminal charges.
However, Rep. Louie Gohmert is about to introduce legislation to allow members to carry guns in Congress. Thus, armed members could move around in a 1000 gun-free zone except for the one that they are carrying.
For his part, Rep. Dan Burton wants the entire House chamber encased in Plexiglas to protect members from the public. No one has suggested encasing members in Plexiglas to combine both concepts.
Once again, a tragedy has led to impulse buy legislation with little concern for the impact on the Constitution or our political system.
Having federal officials move around in a 1000 foot protected zone is appealing until you consider the legal and practical problems. Under this logic, an official walking toward a person with a legally permitted gun would require the citizen to flee the moving protected zone. Analogies to schools (which are often the subject to such limitations) are not very helpful since they tend to stay put and are immediately recognizable.
The only positive aspect to this proposal would be the scene of a campaigning member walking into a gun show to see the pandemonium.