Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on keeping a gun at home to protect yourself

She may be able to hang a giant Lone Star flag outside her office, but Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said today there's one part of her Texas culture she couldn't bring to the nation's capital — her handgun.

Hutchison said she didn't know when she arrived from Austin in 1993 that the District of Columbia prohibits keeping a fully assembled handgun in the home. The district's ban has been in place since 1975.

Hutchison, a Republican who is considering a 2006 run for Texas governor, introduced legislation today to lift the ban. If the bill passes she said she would keep a gun in her D.C. home. . . .

"I have always had a handgun in the drawer next to my bed, and I would certainly again have one if it were legal in D.C.," Hutchison said.

Her office said her handgun is a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.

Hutchison said after she learned of the D.C. gun ban, she dismantled her gun, bought a travel case for it and took it back to Texas. She said she's complying with the law even though she thinks it's unconstitutional.

"I think every woman in the District of Columbia should have the ability to protect herself in her home," she said.

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