Rep. Charlie Rangel (D., N.Y.) said he and his fellow congressmen deserved and needed protection from guns Wednesday while simultaneously arguing against members of his own district being armed.
When a reporter for The Daily Caller noted he was protected by the U.S. Capitol Police, he laughed and said, "Well, that's a little different. I think we deserve—I think we need to be protected down here."
Rangel, who was part of the Democratic sit-in that began Wednesday pushing for gun control legislation, also told the website he was glad it was difficult in his New York district to get concealed carry permits:
The Daily Caller reports:
"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."
Like Maryland, California, and the District of Columbia, New York’s firearm permitting approval requires that applicants must provide good cause to carry a firearm.
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.