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Senate Sergeant At Arms Terrance Gainer: Lawmakers Should Leave Security To Professionals

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/11/11 10:10 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Terrance Gainer Sergeant At Arms

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer advised lawmakers Tuesday to refrain from the temptation to take their security into their own hands by carrying firearms following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) this weekend.

"I don't think that's a good idea," Gainer said on ABC News' "Good Morning America," The Hill reported. "I think we should leave the law enforcement and security to those professionals."

Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) announced their intentions Monday to begin carrying their sidearms more frequently during campaign events, according to a report from Politico.

But Gainer said members of Congress should leave security to professionals.

"I've been a policeman for 42 years and I don't think introducing more guns to the situation is helpful," Gainer said.

The House sergeant-at-arms, for his part, asked lawmakers to be cautious in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson.

"I strongly urge members and staff to be continuously aware of their surroundings and to immediately report circumstances that appear suspicious to your local law enforcement agency and then to the U.S. Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section," Bill Livingood advised.

The Hill reports that some new safety measures that will be taken on Capitol Hill this week, including member and staff briefings by Capitol police and the sergeants-at-arms, to be delivered Wednesday, and additional training regarding public events like the one Giffords attended Saturday.

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