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Constituent arrested for threatening to kill Congressman over marijuana policy

Representative Scott Taylor was threatened by a constituent on Friday. (Image source: YouTube screencap)

Wallace Grove Godwin of Virginia Beach was arrested on Friday, after allegedly threatening to kill Congressman Scott Taylor (R-Va.) and two of his staffers.

In a meeting with Taylor's aides at the representative's district office in Virginia Beach, Godwin reportedly became agitated during a discussion regarding marijuana policy.

According to court documents, Godwin proceeded to forewarn the staffers, saying "Scott is having an event this Saturday. I am going to get my shotgun and do something about this. I will just handle this myself."

He is further alleged to have pointed at two of Taylor's aides, and said, "You two are next." The reason for the dispute has not yet been reported.

This is the third time Godwin has attempted to engage with Taylor. Last year, Godwin showed up at Taylor's house and blocked his car in the driveway, approaching the Congressman about marijuana policy when the representative walked outside. Taylor asked the 69-year-old man to leave, and he complied.

In March of last year, Godwin was reported to Capitol Police when he arrived at Taylor's district office and yelled at staffers.

If convicted of threatening a member of Congress, Godwin could face up to 10 years in prison.

After a stream of turbulent town hall meetings, the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at a practice for the annual congressional baseball game last year, and the 2011 shooting of former Representative Gabby Giffords, safety for lawmakers is becoming more of a concern.

Out of 535 members of Congress, nine are protected by traveling Capitol Police bodyguards unless a lawmaker is facing specific threats.

But not all lawmakers are calling for a security detail. After the shooting of Representative Scalise, Senator Pat Toomey said "I'd hate that we need something to separate us from the people we represent. But on the other hand, there are obvious dangers so it's worth thinking about."

Senator Susan Collins had a similar response, saying, "What I don't want to do is put an unnecessary barrier between the public and those of us who serve."

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