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A group of House Democrats are up in arms about a decades-old regulation that allows lawmakers to carry weapons on Capitol Hill after an incoming gun-toting Colorado congresswoman said she wants to enter office armed with her Glock.
The 21 gun-reform-minded Democrats have urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to remove an obscure 1967 regulation that exempts lawmakers from a ban against the public carrying weapons in the Capitol complex, The Hill reported.
The Democrats, led by gun-reform advocate Rep. Jared Huffman of California, argue in their letter that allowing armed members of Congress to roam the halls does nothing to increase security and actually puts everyone at risk because the Capitol Police are unaware who has weapons and who does not.
They want to prohibit both the public and lawmakers from carrying arms.
“Ultimately, the current regulations create needless risk for Members of Congress, their staff, members of the Capitol Police, and visitors to the Capitol grounds,” the letter sent Tuesday says.
The group also says because there are no House guidelines about the safe storage of weapons “a firearm that is not secured could easily end up in the wrong hands.”
Among the Democrats supporting the letter are Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who was shot and wounded when she was a staff member during a 1978 congressional trip to the Jonestown cult settlement in Guyana, and Reps. Mike Quigley and Robin Kelly, who represent Chicago which has seen a spike in gun violence.
The matter took on new focus when Lauren Boebert, a pro-gun activist from Colorado who runs Shooters Grill, asked the Capitol Police about whether she would be allowed to continue to wear her Glock on her hip when she enters office in January.
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