LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska state senator said he thinks special training should be made available to lawmakers and their staffers who want to carry concealed weapons outside the state Capitol, in light of the attack on the Republican congressional baseball practice near Washington, D.C.

Army veteran and Republican Sen. Tom Brewer, of Gordon, said he intends to propose a bill next year that would provide armed defense training for legislative employees and state senators, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/2ruXQz7 ).

Brewer said that without Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s security detail, the man who carried out Wednesday’s attack could have killed everyone on the field “and they could have done nothing but run.”

He said he wasn’t entirely surprised by the shooting because of the country’s growing tense political discourse. But “that you have to worry about baseball practice — that’s a sad place to get to,” he said. “We’re a better country than that.”

Brewer said that Nebraska Capitol security protects lawmakers in the building, but the state can’t afford security details as lawmakers travel in their districts.

Brewer, who is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said he plans to meet with fellow senators and representatives of the Nebraska State Patrol about launching the program for lawmakers who want to defend themselves. He said that such training would be more thorough that what is currently required of people who apply for regular concealed-carry permits.

During his military service, Brewer was shot six times in Afghanistan in 2003 and hit by shrapnel from a grenade in 2011.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com