Congress solution to improve security: Make themselves walk through metal detectors

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- On Tuesday, January 12th, tempers flared, and a controversy erupted in the U.S. Capitol over the installation of new metal detectors at the entrance to the House chamber in the wake of the attack on the Capitol.

According to reports, the metal detectors were set up for the purpose of screening everyone who entered the House chamber after lawmakers allegedly complained they had feared for their lives during the Capitol riot that took place on January 6th.

In a notice announcing the metal detector installation, Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett wrote:

“To ensure compliance with Capitol Police Board regulations concerning firearms and incendiary devices as well as to provide a safe and secure environment in which to conduct legislative business, effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required to undergo security screening when entering the House chamber.”

The new metal detectors were installed at select entrances to the House chamber and in the past, members of Congress had been excused from passing through the metal detectors at the main entrance to the Capitol building.

In his announcement, Blodgett warned that:

“Failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber.”

According to reporters, some lawmakers were heard complaining about the detectors and railing against Democrats as they tried to enter the House chamber to vote, saying they were not consulted by Democratic leadership about the decision to install devices. 

Some questioned the motives behind the metal detectors and said that the security measure at the entrance to the House chamber was done to prevent some GOP lawmakers from casting their votes. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said:

“They’re impeding the ability of members to come and vote.”

He said that there were detectors at various points throughout the Capitol complex, adding:

“They were strictly designed to impede the ability for members to come and vote. This is our job. This was never discussed by anybody, you don’t make a major change like this.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) tweeted:

“For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!”

9News reported that several House Republicans sidestepped the newly-installed metal detectors and simply ignored the machines when they were set off. U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert said, as he breezed by officers:

“You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to vote.”

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado reportedly ended up in a stalemate with Capitol security after refusing to hand over her bag after setting off the metal detector.

CNN reporter Ryan Nobles tweeted that Boebert, who has allegedly said she plans to carry her gun in D.C. and the Capitol, walked through the detector with her bag, which set off the alarm. She refused to hand over her bag to Capitol police, so officers refused to let her enter until they were able to see what was inside.

Minutes later, Nobles tweeted that Boebert was allowed into the chamber, but he was unsure if police had searched her bag. It is also unclear what set off the alarm. Defending her actions, Boebert later responded, via Twitter:

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex. 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”

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) tweeted:

“In addition, what @SpeakerPelosi is doing by forcing the Capitol Police to not allow Members onto the House floor without a “security” checkpoint is unconstitutional based on Article 1, Section 6. This should not stand. @GOPLeader with House Republicans must formally protest.”

 

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A newly elected congresswoman wants to carry her firearm on Capitol Hill – and may be able to pull it off

November 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – A newly elected congresswoman from Colorado allegedly wants to be able to carry her concealed firearm while working on Capitol Hill. And, much to the dismay of her liberal counterparts, she may be allowed to do.

Newly elected Republican lawmaker, Lauren Boebert, allegedly requested the ability to carry her firearm on her person while she is working as a Congresswoman.  Boebert, who owns a restaurant with a firearm theme in Colorado, would not be the only lawmaker legally allowed to carry if her request is approved by the Capitol Police.

Boebert, who upset five-term incumbent Scott Tipton in June, is a hardcore second amendment advocate and is known to carry a Glock on her side. Boebert is believed to have won in part because she accused Tipton of not supporting President Trump enough.

Two unnamed congressional officials, one a Republican and one a Democrat, reported that Boebert had asked officials if she could carry her firearm while at an orientation for newly elected law makers.

While Boebert’s team did not acknowledge whether or not she really did ask permission to carry her firearm, Laura Carno, an aide for Boebert, said:

“This was a private conversation and inquiry about what the rules are, and as a result the Congresswoman-Elect won’t be going on the record.”

In other words, Boebert, or at least her team, does not believe that it is anyone’s business whether or not she carries a firearm while federal property.  Although, it can easily be assumed that she will be, given her stance on gun control and coming from a conservative area of Colorado.

Regardless of who carries firearms on Capitol Hill, they are legally allowed to do so according to a regulation passed in 1967.

The regulation states that no law, whether federal or from the District of Columbia, “shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of his office [or] from transporting within Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”

This mandate, while allowing lawmakers to have firearms in certain conditions, does ban them from carrying them into the House Chamber or other restricted areas on Capitol Hill. But that does not prohibit their aides from holding onto the lawmaker’s firearms while they are in the prohibited areas.

However, Democratic lawmaker Jared Huffman, from California, believes that the practice should be stopped, especially after civil unrest that has occurred after the death of George Floyd in May of this year.

He is upset that lawmakers can keep firearms in their offices and work around the rules in allowing their aides to hold onto their firearms while they are in the House and other restricted areas. Huffman said:

“Members could have a loaded AK-47 sitting on their desk and no one would ever do anything about it.”

However, Republican Representative Thomas Massie, believes that the regulation is fine as is, and is also necessary. To add evidence to his argument, Massie pointed out the mass shooting of Republican lawmakers in 2017 while they attended a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Massie said:

“As soon as you leave the Capitol property, you are a target.”

Another person who supports lawmakers, and specifically Boebert, in carrying firearms, newly elected lawmaker Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, says that all lawmakers and Americans should be able to carry a firearm to protect themselves. She said:

Not only do I support members of Congress carrying a firearm, I believe every American has the right. I will work every day to end ALL gun free zones.”

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