By Aidan Johnston
Since Capitol Security failed on January 6th, Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her latest attempt to ban Members of Congress from carrying firearms on Capitol Hill. Her proposals arguably violate Article I Section 6 of the Constitution as well as the Second and Twenty-Seventh Amendments.
If Nancy Pelosi will ransack any Article or Amendment to the Constitution to ban Members of Congress from exercising their constitutional rights, imagine how much worse she will treat the American people’s right to keep and bear arms!
When Representative Thomas Massie and his staff’s lives were in jeopardy on January 6th, he was equipped with the tools to protect himself and those he cares about. Rep. Massie remarked that, “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.”
One newly elected Representative, Lauren Boebert, had only just moved to D.C. and was still waiting on the Metropolitan Police Department to approve her shall-issue Concealed Carry Pistol License at the time of the breach. Now she regrets waiting for the government’s permission to carry her firearm, telling Fox News:
“It was just like this ‘I told you so’ moment. I wish that I would have just not listened. Because my life is worth defending. The people next to me, their lives are worth defending.”
But while many Members of Congress are wising up and taking steps to exercise their right to self-defense, anti-gun Democrats went on the offensive.
Just a few days earlier, 21 House Democrats lost a battle with GOA and Rep. Lauren Boebert over Capitol Carry on January 3rd in which they unsuccessfully attempted to ban Members of Congress and their staff from carrying firearms on Capitol Grounds in the 117th Congressional House Rules package.
Reportedly, House Democrats were briefed by Capitol Hill Police on Monday of wild “plots” that:
[W]ould involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government.
Panicking, one anonymous Democrat described duly-elected members of Congress to Huffington Post as “all these members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.”
That is how anti-gun leaders view their colleagues who desire to exercise their Constitutional rights even in accordance with state and federal law.
By the next morning and under the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the acting sergeant-at-arms informed House members and staff: “Effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required [to] undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber” (emphasis added).
But this new ‘security measure’ would not have prevented a single crime or saved a single life when the Capitol Complex was breached.
Instead, Speaker Pelosi’s “security theater” is a direct attack on Members of Congress and staff who recently publicized their desire to carry firearms for self-defense while going to, from, and on Capitol Hill.
Metal detectors and searches at the entrance to the House Floor are also a violation of our Constitution.
Not only does the Second Amendment protect every American’s right to keep and bear arms from being infringed by Gun Free Zones (even within Washington DC), but Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution exempts Members of Congress “from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.”
Further, while 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(1) grants the Capitol Police Board authority to issue regulations pertaining to the carrying of firearms on Capitol Grounds, 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(3) exempts (A) Members of Congress and (B) employees of Members of Congress during the “lawful discharge of official duties.”
Exercising their Constitutional rights, some Members of Congress like Representative Louie Gohmert walked around the metal detectors and refused to comply.
Infuriated, Speaker Pelosi moved the metal detector closer to the door and blocked its sides with tables — at which point Representatives like Chip Roy, Thomas Massie, and Lauren Boebert simply walked through the metal detector, setting off the alarms without stopping.
In a last-ditch effort to control Members behavior, Speaker Pelosi wants to literally change the House Rules, forcing members to either obey the metal detectors or face $5,000 to $10,000 fines — docked straight from their salary for each “offense.” Never mind that the 27th Amendment to the Constitution says:
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
The unconstitutional and illegal attempts to enforce a gun-free zone on the House Chamber Floor reveals Speaker Pelosi’s willingness to violate any Article, Section, Clause, or Amendment of our Constitution that stands between her and the implementation of gun control.
If Members of Congress fail to recognize and oppose these illegal and unconstitutional infringements on their rights, they can never be counted on to recognize and defend the rights of the people.
Aidan Johnston is the Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America.