District Mayor Muriel Bowser said that she does not favor changing Washington's strict gun control laws to let people defend themselves from an "active shooter" because "I don't like guns."

Bowser, at a Monday press conference, told WMAL anchor/reporter Steve Burns that guns are not the answer to new comments from District Police Chief Cathy Lanier that those facing an "active shooter" should "take the gunman out."

Since Lanier, appearing on the CBS magazine show 60 Minutes, didn't say exactly how District residents with limited access to guns should do that, Burns asked if gun laws should be changed.

Bowser said that she is not satisfied with the District's gun laws, but doesn't want them loosened. "I don't like guns," she said as the press conference with local business leaders erupted in applause.

As the clapping went on, she added, "I don't think more guns should be the answer."

WMAL's morning show, Mornings on the Mall, hosted by Brian Wilson and Larry O'Connor, gave prominent play to the mayor's comments and those of another city official who suggested people use a baseball bat to fight back.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier urged people to take out shooters. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The District has seen a surge in illegal gun violence. It experienced an "active shooter" two years ago when a gunman killed several at the Navy Yard federal workplace.


The city makes it difficult to get guns, especially those for personal defense, even though there is a concealed carry law. The mayor is protected by a well-armed security force.

In a prior answer, Bowser said that Chief Lanier was only talking about a "one in 100 million" situation involving an "active shooter." She didn't explain how that is different from the sometimes random shootings in her city.

On 60 Minutes, Lanier said that those facing a gunman, like the Paris terrorist attacks, have a choice: "run, hide, or fight." She added, "If you're in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it's the best option for saving lives before police can get there."

This story has been updated to correct an earlier version that said there is no carry law in Washington. In 2014, a federal judge threw out the District's ban.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.