Hoyer Seeks Review of Firearms Rules on US Capitol Grounds

December 14, 2021 by Dan McCue
Hoyer Seeks Review of Firearms Rules on US Capitol Grounds
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asked the Capitol Police Board on Tuesday to update Congressional leadership on the current status of firearms rules within the U.S. Capitol Complex, and to consider an outright ban on guns in committee rooms, hearing rooms and other public areas.

Hoyer’s action comes less than a week after a Hill staffer, Jeffrey Allsbrooks, was able to walk into the Longworth House Office Building with a loaded Glock 19 9mm handgun in a bag he passed through security.

Allsbrooks, a logistics manager with the House Chief Administrative Office, was arrested eight minutes later, and was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

He told the officers he simply forgot the gun was in the bag. 


In addition, a number of members of Congress, most notably freshman Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, have repeatedly asserted their right to carry a gun in the Capitol this past year.

Last January, in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol by insurrectionists loyal to former President Donald Trump, metal detectors were installed to screen members coming and going from the House floor.

“Effective immediately, all persons, including members, are required to undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber,” an announcement of the new policy said a week before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. “Failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber.”

On Jan. 13, Boebert was involved in an incident at a security station at a door to the House of Representatives chambers.

The metal detector alarms sounded as she tried to pass through them. She refused to allow her bag to be inspected by Capitol Police, who then blocked her from entering the House chambers.


Although she was allowed into the chambers for a vote later, she apparently was not carrying a gun. Boebert implied in a tweet that she was carrying a gun during the earlier incident with police.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C., and within the Capitol complex,” Boebert wrote at the time. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi.”

In a letter to the Capitol Police Board, Hoyer said, “I have heard from a number of members and staff who are greatly concerned about the lack of clarity about rules that permit members of Congress to carry personal firearms in their offices.”  

“Too often we have seen instances in which members have claimed that it is permissible to carry firearms (and, indeed, have admitted that they were in possession of firearms) elsewhere on Capitol Hill, including committee and hearing rooms, which under current regulations is prohibited,” he continued.  

“No matter who possesses these weapons and how well trained they are in their safe personal use, their very presence in these spaces makes them less safe to all, especially to the U.S. Capitol Police officers who are already under enormous pressure to protect the premises,” Hoyer said.  

“The presence of deadly firearms only raises the dangers of a violent incident, an accidental discharge, or some other preventable tragedy. That is why it is essential that rules and regulations regarding where personal firearms may or may not be carried must be communicated clearly to members,” he concluded.

The board, which consists of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper Karen Gibson; House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker; Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton; and Ex-Officio Board Member Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, is currently conducting  a review of  current regulations and seeking ways to update those that are no longer sufficient.


“I hope that, as the board continues to identify other ways to maintain the highest levels of safety on Capitol Hill, you will consider ensuring that committee rooms, hearing rooms, and other areas of public gathering will always be firearm-free,” Hoyer said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

June 24, 2022
by Dan McCue
Hoyer Leads Charge to Bolster American Competitiveness

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., on Thursday urged House and Senate conferees currently working on a bipartisan... Read More

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., on Thursday urged House and Senate conferees currently working on a bipartisan innovation bill to complete their work soon so that the House can vote on it before the August recess. Originally called the Endless Frontier Act, the... Read More

June 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Suspects Trump Supporter of Influencing Jan. 6 Riot Prosecutions

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to investigate whether former Trump attorney Sidney Powell is contributing... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to investigate whether former Trump attorney Sidney Powell is contributing funds to the legal defense of the right ring extremist Oath Keepers accused of raiding the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The Justice Department says... Read More

June 24, 2022
by Dan McCue
House Passes Bipartisan Gun Legislation, Sending It to Biden

WASHINGTON — The House gave its approval on Friday to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous and mentally ill... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House gave its approval on Friday to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous and mentally ill people from getting their hands on firearms, ending a three-decade stalemate over how to deal with mass shootings and other deadly firearm-related incidents. The 234-193 vote,... Read More

June 23, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Seeks to Update Its Computer Systems

WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to catch up to the computerized automation that is running many American businesses but only... Read More

WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to catch up to the computerized automation that is running many American businesses but only now is filtering into more conservative government offices. A House committee held a hearing Thursday to determine how to bring greater efficiencies into government operations through... Read More

June 23, 2022
by Reece Nations
Future of Title IX Becomes Clearer on Its Anniversary

WASHINGTON — As Title IX turns 50 this week, experts weigh in to discuss how its recent history could hint... Read More

WASHINGTON — As Title IX turns 50 this week, experts weigh in to discuss how its recent history could hint at what’s still to come for the landmark educational sexual discrimination law. When Title IX was being formulated in Congress, the lawmakers that conceived it couldn’t... Read More

June 22, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Washington Commanders’ Owner Accused of Covering Up Toxic Workplace

WASHINGTON — New revelations about a toxic work environment on the Washington Commanders football team were revealed during a congressional... Read More

WASHINGTON — New revelations about a toxic work environment on the Washington Commanders football team were revealed during a congressional hearing Wednesday but only after Republicans protested that the hearing never should have been held. A key revelation came from a House Oversight and Reform Committee... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top