In the wake of the tragic shooting at Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) called on Congress on Wednesday to revisit a policy prohibiting soldiers from carrying guns on military bases.
McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, made the comments during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” as the pair discussed the details of the shooting at Fort Hood.
“I personally think if you’re trained for combat, you ought to be able to carry a weapon,” McCaul told host Megyn Kelly. “Al-Qaeda and terrorist and jihadists are targeting our military bases. That is a fact. And if they are trained in warfare and they can cary weapons in warfare, it seems to me that there is some logic to allowing them to carry weapons on a military base where they can defend themselves.”
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) introduced a bill allowing soldiers to carry firearms on military bases — currently gun-free zones — last year in response to the mass shooting at Fort Hood in 2009 and the tragedy at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard last year. The legislation, however, never advanced.
And McCaul noted that in both shootings, soldiers were left defenseless.
“The problem here, and with Fort Hood, the prior Nidal Hassan case, was that they couldn’t defend themselves because they were not allowed to carry a weapon. So I think the policy makers, Congress, we need to revisit this procedure, this policy, to see if we should arm them so they can better protect themselves.”
Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, an Iraq War veteran, opened fire at the Fort Hood military base on Wednesday, killing four and wounding 16. The soldier, who was being treated for mental illness, then fatally shot himself as a female military police officer confronted him in a base parking lot.
Concealed carry on military bases is prohibited, and military police are the only ones permitted to carry guns on campus. All guns kept on a military base must be registered with the base’s provost marshall. Additionally, both soldiers and military police looking to use a gun — whether it’s for practice at an on- or off-base range or for a military exercise — must check the firearm in and out of the armory.
Any person who arrives with a gun must leave it at the base’s gate.
Watch McCaul discuss concealed carry on military bases below.