Gun and legal experts are urging officials under President Donald Trump to acquire concealed carry permits in the wake of left-wing public harassment and threats against their safety, the Washington Examiner reported.
"There are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants," John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told the paper. "Getting a concealed handgun permit would be helpful to protect themselves and their family."
What's been happening?
Leftist outrage — stemming from illegal immigrant children getting separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border — has boiled over into a number of recent incidents:
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) over the weekend openly called for her supporters to harass and maybe even attack members of Trump’s administration.
- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family on Friday night were asked to leave a restaurant due to the owner’s “moral conviction” against Trump.
- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled by Democratic Socialists inside a Washington, D.C., Mexican restaurant last week — and one of the protesters turned out to be a Justice Department employee.
- A Border Patrol agent was injured at an immigrant detainment facility in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday while trying to control a crowd of protesters attempting to stop a bus carrying immigrants from leaving the facility.
Waters was captured on video telling supporters, “God is on our side,” and championing protesters who've yelled "No peace, no sleep! No peace, no sleep!" outside Nielsen's house.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up, and if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” Waters added.
Here's the clip. The relevant portion starts just after the 4-minute mark:
Homeland Security warned agency employees about threats to their personal safety in an email over the weekend.
The Trump administration had decided to prosecute all illegal border crossers, which forced the separation of children from their parents per federal law and longstanding DHS policy. But Trump signed an executive order last week ending the separation of children from their parents.
Outside the beltway, Florida GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi needed a police escort following a movie about Mister Rogers after activists yelled at her in Tampa on Friday, Politico reported.
One yelled so loudly that he spit in her hair, the outlet noted, adding that Bondi said activists also taunted her friend as “blue eyes” and asked him threateningly if he was going to protect her, as though they wanted to fight.
“When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” Bondi told Politico. “The next people are going to come with guns. That’s what’s going to happen.”
What else did experts say?
“High level officials in the Trump administration, especially if their faces are likely to be recognized by many in the public as a result of appearances on TV, might want to consider applying for a license to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia, and/or other states they frequent, in view of the call by Rep. Maxine Waters for the public to ‘absolutely harass’ these officials in public places, and other recent events indicating the increased danger they are in,” George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf told the Examiner.
Mark Smith, author of "#Duped: How the Anti-gun Lobby Exploits the Parkland School Shooting – and How Gun Owners Can Fight Back," told the paper that while he doesn't believe Waters "wishes violence on anyone, including on Trump supporters, the reality is her rhetoric that liberals should 'harass' Trump supporters could easily be misconstrued by someone predisposed to criminal violence as encouragement to commit violence on Trump supporters and staff."
Banzhaf added to the Examiner that Trump officials should begin the permit application process immediately since it "can reportedly take some time."
“That way, if and when they decide that they should carry a small firearm to protect themselves and/or their families, they will be able to do so," he told the paper. "Obviously, it will always be their own choice, since having a permit certainly does not require them to carry a gun at all times, or even at any time."