U.S. John Cornyn seeks clarification on arming federal prosecutors

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

Less than a week after the Kaufman County District attorney and his wife were found shot to death in their home, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for clarification on Department of Justice policies that prevent prosecutors from carrying firearms.

"I am very concerned for the safety of other prosecutors, at both the federal and state levels," Cornyn said in a press release. "These public servants carry out vital and dangerous duties that often target violent and dangerous organized criminal networks."

Cornyn also sent a copy of the letter to Judge Thomas Hogan, the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

In his letter, Cornyn spoke of late Kaufman County District Mike McClelland who was found shot to death with his wife, Cynthia, in their home on March 30. In January, Mark Hasse, an assistant DA with Kaufman County was gunned down near the county courthouse.

Authorities have not said whether the cases are linked. No arrests have been made in either case.

Gov. Rick Perry announced a reward of up to $200,000 for any information that will help solve the murders, according to East Texas News. Half of the reward money will come from the governor's office and the other will come from Kaufman County Crime Stoppers.

"It has come to my attention that federal law exempts law enforcement officers, agents, and federal officials (such as prosecutors) from prohibitions on carrying firearms in federal court facilities," Cornyn wrote in his letter. "Yet I am told that as a matter of policy, federal prosecutors are barred from carrying personal self-defense firearms to their offices (and parking facilities) even if they hold a state-issued concealed carry license."

In the letter, Cornyn continued by saying that if his information is accurate, "then the safety and security of federal officials demands the policy's immediate reconsideration."

"Prosecutor safety should start with enabling them to defend themselves from violent attack," Cornyn wrote in the letter.

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