Reps. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced the No Congressional Gun Loophole Act on Dec. 28, 2020, and reintroduced it in the new session of Congress last week.
“As a survivor of gun violence, I know what it’s like to [be] shot & left for dead. Stats show accidents happen when there are firearms around. The exemption for U.S. Reps increases the risk for Members, staff & the public,” Speier wrote on Twitter on Jan. 29.
Firearms are banned on Capitol grounds and premises, although an exception has been in place for lawmakers since 1967, according to The Hill. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have taken advantage of the carveout for years with no incident.
But the political fallout from the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6 has given Democrats an opening to push for a blanket ban, while casting a shadow on a handful of Republicans who have made a point of taking advantage of the exception.
Huffman wrote on Twitter on Jan. 28: “You can’t have an honor system with dishonorable people. We now have Members openly calling for violence & trying to bring guns on the House Floor. For everyone’s safety, we must pass my bill with Rep. Speier to get rid of Members’ special firearms exemption.”
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) made headlines before being sworn into Congress because she applied for a concealed carry permit in Washington and planned to carry her firearm in D.C. and Congress. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) told local media he was armed when he was being evacuated from the Capitol during the breach on Jan. 6.
A number of Democrats now claim they fear for their safety by equating their colleagues across the aisle with rioters who breached the Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) installed magnetometers in the Capitol in the wake of Jan. 6, specifically targeting members who want to bring guns on the House floor.
“We will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives—a threat that the members are concerned about—in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi said Jan. 28.
Asked to explain, Pelosi said, “It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”
There is no evidence in the public realm of any current member of Congress threatening violence against his or her colleagues.
Boebert didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.