Lawmakers Should Be Banned From Carrying Guns Inside Capitol, Sargent At Arms Says
Lawmakers should not be allowed to carry guns on the U.S. Capitol grounds, a House law enforcement official said on Wednesday.
Sergeant at Arms William Walker penned a letter stating his position to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas that left 21 people dead on Tuesday, and the racially motivated grocery store shooting that took the lives of 10 others in Buffalo, New York, earlier this month.
He acknowledged that his opinion would not be well received by Congressional Republicans.
“Regrettably, my position on this matter is not shared by all stakeholders,” he stated. “However, in my opinion, the law is clear, and the regulation is unambiguous.”
Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina), Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) are all known to carry firearms, which is permissible under a 1967 law. The law bans the public from carrying firearms on Capitol grounds, but allows members of Congress to carry firearms in their office or in transportation around the complex as long as the firearm is “unloaded and securely wrapped.” Lawmakers, however, are not permitted to carry firearms on the House or Senate floors.
Hoyer released a statement in response to the letter.
“I was glad to receive his letter and read his determined statement that the Capitol complex and grounds ought to be seen as a gun-free zone and clarifying that Members may not carry personal firearms outside their offices unless unloaded and fully secured for transport,” the statement read.
“I hope that Sergeant Walker’s letter provides Members with certainty about firearm policies so that no one is under the impression that loaded firearms can be carried around the complex or brought into committee rooms or other spaces,” Hoyer added.