Congressman Chris Collins heightens security at public events

Congressman Collins heightens security at public events (WHAM Photo)

ROCHESTER --- Congressman Chris Collins is back in New York with beefed up security just days after a shooting that injured several people at a ball park in Virginia.

Earlier this week, Collins told 13WHAM he would be armed with his own gun from now on.

At a veteran resource event in Geneseo on Saturday, Rep. Collins would not specify if he was armed or not.

It was his first local event after a gunman opened fire during a congressional baseball practice in Virginia.

Collins' colleague, Congressman Steve Scalise, was critically injured. His condition was upgraded to 'serious' Saturday night.

"I will play it by ear and decide when I think its appropriate and when I think its not," Collins said.

Collins says he is working on legislation for better protection for congress members.

"Understanding what happened, to potentially have a situation where the capitol police may be able to train and certify members of congress and some of their staff," Collins said.

Collins was faced with criticism this week after critics blamed President Trump and his Republican supporters for feeding violence by negative and divisive rhetoric.

"The last six months have been a disgrace in America," Collins said. "I'll say, I admit the tone has something to do it."

Collins says President Trump is not the problem.

"When somebody talks about something that is untrue or distorted, they are trying to interpret the constitution in a way it shouldn't be," Collins said. "That is what is adding to it. It's everyone's fault."

Voter Dick Bondy disagrees.

"[Trump's] attitude should change," Bondy said. "He should be more cooperative and more passionate."

Collins is looking to move his Geneseo headquarters to the Livingston County office building for safety reasons. He also plans to have at least one armed law enforcement officer at his public events and gatherings.

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