The 1967 law prohibiting gun control targeting legislators in the Capitol came under fire after 21 Democrats asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy to review the statute and ban firearms inside the Capitol building.
This was after Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert informed the Capitol police of her intentions to bear arms during the 2021 legislative session.
The Democrats said that allowing guns in the Capitol building put other lawmakers at risk. They also accused Boebert of engaging in a political stunt and disrespecting the Capitol police.
However, Boebert had initially indicated that the Capitol police were doing an excellent job in protecting legislators, but couldn’t accompany her and other legislators everywhere. She swore against “gun-grabbing House Democrats” taking away her Constitutional right to protect herself.
Three days later, Boebert wrote a letter to the House leaders urging them to uphold the half-a-century law allowing lawmakers to carry firearms for self-defense within the Capitol building. The letter was signed by another 82 pro-Second Amendment GOP legislators.
“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 official duties,” the letter stated.
Boebert’s letter also highlighted several historic attacks targeting lawmakers. They included the 1998 incident when an attacker stormed the office of then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay, killing two Capitol police officers who engaged him in a shootout.
Another attacker targeted 24 members of Congress at Eugene Simpson Stadium in Virginia during a charity drive. Three police officers present defended the lives of the legislators.
“Had these heroes not been there, the 24 members of Congress present at the practice would have been unguarded and it's likely several more would have been critically injured or killed,” the letter said. “Some of those members are now licensed to carry firearms in D.C.”
Ultimately, the letter appears to have influenced Speaker Pelosi’s decision to exclude gun control from her recently unveiled House rules.
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