Politics

Cornyn seeks clarification on gun laws in wake of Texas district attorney murders

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In the wake of the murders of two Texas district attorneys, Texas Sen. John Cornyn is asking for the Justice Department for clarification on when and where prosecutors can carry firearms for self-defense.

Last week, the Texas district attorney for Kaufmann County and his wife were shot and killed in their home. Their murder came two months after a Kaufmann County assistant district attorney was shot to death near the office. There is speculation that the two crimes might be related.

Cornyn, the second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Thomas Hogan, the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, requesting clarification on what provisions will be made to ensure that prosecutors are adequately able to protect themselves from possible retribution.

“It has come to my attention that federal law…exempts law enforcement officers, agents, and federal officials (such as prosecutors) from prohibitions on carrying firearms in federal court facilities. Yet I am told that as a matter of policy, federal prosecutors are barred from carrying personal self-defense firearms to their offices (and parking facilities) even if they hold a state-issue concealed carry license,” Cornyn writes in the letter.

“If this information is accurate and is a matter of federal court policy, then the safety and security of federal officials demands the policy’s immediate reconsideration,” Cornyn continued. “Prosecutor safety should start with enabling them to defend themselves from violent attack.”

Cornyn sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of early Thursday afternoon, his office has not yet received a response from the Justice Department.

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