WASHINGTON — New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel says members of Congress “deserve” and “need” people with firearms protecting them in the U.S. Capitol building, but he does not want law-abiding residents in his own district to be armed for self-protection.
Rangel made this distinction when he spoke to The Daily Caller Tuesday night about New York Police Department’s gun permitting bribery scandal.
According to reports, four NYPD officials were arrested Monday for accepting trips, expensive gifts and prostitutes from two Brooklyn men in exchange for police escorts, privileged access and gun licenses, federal prosecutors charged.
When asked by The Daily Caller his thoughts on the difficulty of getting a concealed carry permit in New York City and how rare it is for such permits to be issued by the NYPD, Rangel replied, “I’m glad to hear you say that very few people get it.”
“We don’t need that many guns,” he continued. “I didn’t know that briberies were involved in getting a gun, and that is wrong, but overall, if it is difficult to get a concealed weapon permit, I’m glad to hear that.”
The laws surrounding New York City’s firearm issuing authority have been criticized in the past for favoring retired police officers or those with the right connections within the police department to get a concealed carry permit.
The 37,000 issued licensees include prominent business leaders, elected officials, journalists, judges and attorneys.
What about Rangel’s own constituents in his Harlem district? Should law-abiding residents who live there have concealed carry permits too?
“I wouldn’t want them to have it. I know what you’re trying to say. Corruption is corruption, and it’s bad,” Rangel said.
“Law-abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun. You’re not gonna push me in that direction,” he said, standing just five feet from a Capitol Police officer, who stood at his post by the House Speaker’s Lobby.
TheDC noted to Rangel he and other members of Congress are protected by armed members of the U.S. Capitol Police.
“Well that’s a little different. I think we deserve–I think we need to be protected down here.” Rangel laughingly insisted.