Democrats could do away with a rule that allows lawmakers to bring firearms onto Capitol grounds – including in their offices – as they prepare to take control of the House next year.
“I don’t think we can just keep looking the other way or sweep this issue under the rug,” Huffman told the publication. “Our political climate is too volatile and there are too many warning signs that we need to address things like this.”
According to The Washington Post, it’s up to the Capitol Police Board to determine regulation surrounding firearms on Capitol grounds. It previously established “nothing . . . shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of his office or any Member of Congress or any employee or agent of any Member of Congress from transporting within the Capitol Grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
Citing the politically-motivated 2017 shooting attack on Republican lawmakers and their staff – which left Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., seriously wounded – Huffman told the newspaper he has concerns someone would be able to gain access to a firearm legally kept in the Capitol and use it for a nefarious act.
“I hesitate to even put in print some of the scenarios that I worry the most about, because the truth is, the House chamber is a place where we occasionally have all of the most powerful government officials in the country gathered in one place,” he said.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, who chairs Second Amendment Caucus, chalked the proposed changes up to “theatrics.”
“It’s proposing to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” he told The Washington Post. “[Pelosi’s] worried that members aren’t responsible enough to handle a firearm?”
In 2015, two Republican congressmen were criticized for posting a photo of the pair holding an AR-15 rifle while in the House.
Rep. Trey Gowdy said fellow Rep. Ken Buck had permission to have the “inoperable gun” in Buck’s office.