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Hoyer: Letter from the Sergeant-at-Arms Makes Clear that the Capitol Complex Should Be a Gun-Free Zone

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) responded today to a letter from House Sergeant-at-Arms William J. Walker concerning firearms in the U.S. Capitol Complex and on its grounds.  His letter was itself a response to a letter sent by Leader Hoyer on April 27 and to two earlier letters on December 14 and January 18 in which he requested clarification about rules and regulations regarding Members’ ability to carry personal firearms in the Capitol complex and steps being taken to make this place as safe as possible for of all those who serve, work, and visit here.  

“Today, Sergeant Walker made it unambiguously clear,” Hoyer said, “that dangerous, loaded firearms should have no place in the Capitol complex other than in the hands of trained and authorized law enforcement personnel.  I was glad to receive his letter and read his determined statement that the Capitol complex and grounds ought to be seen as a gun-free zone and clarifying that Members may not carry personal firearms outside their offices unless unloaded and fully secured for transport.  I hope that Sergeant Walker’s letter provides Members with certainty about firearm policies so that no one is under the impression that loaded firearms can be carried around the complex or brought into committee rooms or other spaces.  I look forward to continuing to work closely with Sergeant Walker, the U.S. Capitol Police Board, and the Committee on House Administration in an effort to provide sufficient resources to enforce the rules and regulations concerning firearms and ensure that they are clearly posted and shared across Capitol Hill to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
 
“Members are not allowed, pursuant to the 1967 regulations, to move around campus armed,” Sergeant Walker’s letter reads; “any weapon must be unloaded and secured en route to or from a Member’s office, including to, from, or into committee rooms. The Chamber magnetometers installed last January did not reflect a change in law or policy but only a new method to enforce a policy more than 50 years old. I appreciate your inquiry about what steps can be taken to make everyone aware of the restrictions, and we are considering the best ways to inform the House community and clarify these details.”
 
To read his full letter, click here. Click on the following links to read Leader Hoyer’s previous correspondence with Sergeant Walker from December 14January 18, and April 27.