But lawmakers and judges are a different matter. Legislators have been carrying guns into the Capitol for years, exercising what they say is their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Twenty-five of Indiana’s 150 senators and representatives had permits to carry concealed weapons in 2003, according to a study published by The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.
Sen. Brent Waltz is among the elected officials licensed to carry a sidearm under his coat. He supports the security measures and does not plan to bring his gun to the office after the new steps are implemented.
“I’d probably check it at the door,” Waltz said. “I think it is not a bad thing to have fewer firearms in the Capitol.”
Waltz, R-Greenwood, said he is not worried about his safety inside the Statehouse, but his trip to and from the building sometimes makes him a little nervous.
Lawmakers, Waltz said, vote on emotionally charged issues — such as proposals to ban gay marriage or abortion — and occasionally receive death threats from those who disagree with their positions.
“Certainly there’s a level of risk anyone involved in public life takes,” Waltz said. “It’s important for government to try to reduce those risks as much as possible.”
I sent this email to Senator Brent Waltz’ office:
Since you brought up gay marriage as one of the “emotionally charged issues” that must mean you’ve received a death threat from someone in the gay community, right?
I’ll be giving your office a call in the next few days to get more information on the death threat you received. I write for an online paper, and I’m going to do a story on this. I’d like to talk to Senator Waltz, and with any police that investigated the threat to find out more about where it came from and what follow up occurred.