UPDATE: 83 Congressmen want to keep the ability to carry concealed handguns in the Capitol

Jan 3, 2021 | Featured, Gun Free Zones

UPDATE: It appears as if Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was able to keep the Democrats from changing the rules on letting members of Congress carry guns on Capitol grounds. Note also that in the video above, Boebert is pretty clearly using information that we put together at the CPRC (e.g., on how law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders are and see also here).

Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., wrote a letter to House leadership Friday, urging them to keep a 1967 rule that exempts lawmakers from a ban on firearms inside the Capitol building.

The letter, which was signed by 82 other current and incoming GOP Congress members — including Dan Crenshaw, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert and Matt Gaetz — came three days after 21 Democratic lawmakers asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to change the 53-year-old rule to keep Boebert from carrying her gun into work.

On Saturday, it appeared Boebert scored a victory, as new rules unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not appear to include a Democrat-proposed ban on firearms in the Capitol.

Brie Stimson, “Rep.-elect Boebert appears to score win on gun rights inside Capitol building,” New York Post, January 3, 2021.

Original Post: Gun-free zones invite attacks. While there are many police officers at the Capitol, anyone who has ever been there knows that they cannot cover the entire building all the time. The benefit of letting non-officers carry is that you take away the strategic advantages that the terrorists have because they don’t know if someone behind them might stop them.

There is a reason that 94% of mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones since 1950. We have also collected a lot of examples where what otherwise would have been a mass public shooting was stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder. On top of that, 23 state capitols currently allows people to carry concealed handguns, and there have been no problems with that — no one has been wounded or killed by someone legally carrying their gun. And the New Hampshire state House and the Montana State Legislature look to be added to the list this year. More information is available here.

Unfortunately, however, Democratic California Rep. Jared Huffman’s measure calls for gun carrying to be prohibited throughout Capitol grounds. Huffman garnered support from 19 other House members and said the “current regulations,” which allow concealed firearms for politicians, “create needless risk” in a mid-December letter.

In their letter, the 83 Members and Member-Elects stated: “If Members can’t carry on Capitol grounds, they can’t protect themselves in D.C. while making their way to and from their offices to perform their official duties. The ‘last-mile’ transition of self-protection is critical. The current regulations provide transitional coverage once the Member is physically on campus. Changing the current regulations could create new problems and uncertainty for lawful carrying Members in terms of what to do with a firearm once the Member arrives at the Congressional Complex. 

 “Moreover, and most importantly, Members need to be able to protect themselves once the Member is in the public space/street and out of the protective care of the Capitol Police. If the current regulations are changed, the Member will be at risk of physical assault and real danger, especially after voicing views of his or her constituents that may not be held by others physically present in Washington D.C.”

Lauren Boebert, “Congresswoman-Elect Boebert Leads 83 Members and Member-Elects in Effort to Block Democrats Proposed Gun Grab,” Press Release, January 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, the DC police have warned Congresswoman Lauren Boebert not to carry a gun with her on city streets.

After putting the gun into her waistband and appearing to stride out on to the streets, Boebert says that “skyrocketing” crime in Washington, her small stature, and her constitutional rights justify her gun carrying. “One of the challenges of working in DC is that people here don’t understand how we live in real America,” Boebert said of a city that has been America’s capital since 1790.

Washington’s police chief has said his office will contact Boebert over the video, as non-residents must register guns with the DC police. Members of Congress can carry guns on the US Capitol, which is federal land, but a permit is needed to bring one through the surrounding Washington streets. . . .

Oliver Milman, “Police to contact Republican congresswoman after vow to carry gun to US Capitol,” The Guardian, January 5, 2021.

Nikki Goeser