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House Democrats introduce bill banning all guns on Capitol Hill

Demonstrators on Capitol Hill, Jan. 6, 2021. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
February 01, 2021

Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced legislation on Thursday seeking to prevent lawmakers from carrying guns on Capitol Hill.

Sponsored by two California Democrats, Representatives Jared Huffman and Jackie Speier said the bill would overturn a decades-long rule exempting lawmakers from the current Capitol complex gun ban.

The exception has existed since 1967, but the Jan. 6 violent storming of Capitol Hill has prompted lawmakers to revisit the rule.

“I’ve been pushing for years to change this outdated rule, knowing there was an inevitable risk in allowing Members to carry guns in the Capitol,” Representative Huffman said in a statement regarding the proposed ‘No Congressional Gun Loophole Act.”

The California rep went on to accuse fellow congress members of being “QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers” who “incite violence and insurrection” while bragging about carrying firearms.

“You can’t have an honor system with dishonorable people who think the rules don’t apply to them. Members of Congress should not be above the law. These outdated and dangerous rules must be modernized. For everyone’s safety, Members of Congress must be subject to the same gun restrictions that apply to everyone else who visits or works in the Capitol,” Huffman asserted.

Following the Capitol Hill chaos last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated several new security measures, including metal detectors that each member must pass through into order to enter the House floor.

Multiple GOP members of Congress fought back against the new rules, including vocal supporter of the Second Amendment and Freshman Representative from Colorado Lauren Boebert, who bypassed the metal detectors in the first days after they were installed.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” the ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights tweeted. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”

Pelosi responded to the defiant lawmakers by implementing fines for those who refused to cooperate. Bypassing security will cost members of the House $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second and will be deducted from their salaries. The new rules were to be adopted when the House returned on Jan. 21.

Representative Thomas Massie criticized the proposed fines, tweeting, “How does this not violate the 27th amendment which states: ‘No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.’?”