Huffman, Speier Introduce Bill to Increase Gun Safety in the U.S. Capitol

Following Call to Leadership, Bill Would Hold Members of Congress to the Same Standard as Everyone Else to Ensure Safety of All

December 28, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Representative Jackie Speier (D- Hillsborough) introduced the No Congressional Gun Loophole Act, which would exclude Members of Congress and from the Capitol Police Board’s exemption for firearms on Capitol Grounds. While in the Capitol and House office buildings, the legislation would explicitly prevent Members from carrying firearms, nullifying the Capitol Police Board regulations that allow this, and would require Members of Congress to comply with District of Columbia gun safety and registration requirements. Currently, the over-50-year-old regulation exempts Members of Congress from the firearm rules that apply to everyone else who visits or works at the U.S. Capitol.

“Threats of political violence are on the rise, and it makes all of us less safe if Members of Congress and their staff don’t have to comply with gun safety standards,” said Rep. Huffman. “Members should not be above the law. These outdated and dangerous rules, that apply to everyone else who visits and works in the halls of Congress, must be modernized for everyone’s safety.”

“As a survivor of gun violence, I know what it’s like to battle for your life after being shot five times and left for dead. And statistics show that accidents happen when there are firearms around. The existing exemption for Representatives increases the risk of gun violence for Members, staff, and the public. It’s long past time we close the Member loophole and protect all who enter the Capitol complex,” Rep. Speier said.

This bill follows a recent letter to House leadership led by Rep. Huffman requesting a change in House Rules for the 117th Congress to ensure that Members of Congress are held to the same firearm safety rules as the public while they are on Capitol grounds. These actions were catalyzed by escalating rhetoric and threats of political violence, as well as increased attention to the current rules during Freshmen Member Orientation following the 2020 election. Currently, Members of Congress are exempt from the firearms prohibition in 40 U.S.C. § 5104 under the Capitol Police Board’s regulations.

Huffman and Speier were joined in this legislation by Representatives André D. Carson (D-IN) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).