Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
January 19, 2022
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) sent a follow-up letter to the Capitol Police Board after the Board responded to his December 14 letter with a promise to hold a briefing for Members outlining rules and regulations concerning firearms in the U.S. Capitol Complex. 
 
In his initial letter in December, Hoyer had asked the Board to brief Members and clarify for all that, with the exception of law enforcement, the possession of firearms is not permitted outside of Members’ ability to possess firearms in their personal offices.  The Board responded on December 30 with “plans to host a briefing open to all Members of Congress as soon as practicable,” and this letter from Leader Hoyer asks that, in addition to such a briefing, the Board take a number of concrete steps to ensure that Members and visitors understand the rules about firearm safety in the U.S. Capitol building, in the House office buildings, in other House facilities, and on the grounds.  These include assessing whether a complete ban on firearms, including in Members’ offices, is warranted; a requirement that rules and regulations be posted prominently around the complex; a clarification to current regulations making it explicitly clear who does and does not have authority to carry firearms on the grounds and in the buildings and under what conditions; and specifically clarifying that Members cannot carry firearms in committee rooms or suites adjacent to committee rooms. 
 
“I understand that the CPB intends to meet as soon as this week,” Leader Hoyer wrote in his letter, “and it is my hope that you will use this opportunity to discuss necessary revisions to your current firearms regulations.  … As I’ve said time and again, the safety and security of Members of Congress, staff, employees, visitors, and all individuals in the buildings and on the grounds of the Capitol complex is of the highest priority.  I will stand firm in my commitment to advocating for Members’ accessibility to clear and prudent firearms guidelines in order to prevent further ambiguity and ensure compliance with the rules.”
 
To read the letter in full, click here or see below:
 
January 18, 2022
 
Hon. William J. Walker
Sergeant-at-Arms
U.S. House of Representatives
Chair, Capitol Police Board
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510
 
Hon. Karen Gibson
Sergeant-at-Arms & Doorkeeper
U.S. Senate
Member, Capitol Police Board
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510
 
Hon. J. Brett Blanton 
Architect of the Capitol
Member, Capitol Police Board
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510
 
Chief J. Thomas Manger
U.S. Capitol Police
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510
 
Dear Sergeant Walker, Sergeant Gibson, Mr. Blanton, and Chief Manger:
 
Thank you for your December 30 response to my letter from December 14 requesting clarity about rules governing restrictions on Members’ ability to carry firearms in the Capitol Complex. I appreciate your pledge to update Members on firearms regulations, as soon as practicable.
 
I understand that the CPB intends to meet as soon as this week, and it is my hope that you will use this opportunity to discuss necessary revisions to your current firearms regulations.  I respectfully request serious consideration of the following proposed changes to Police Board Regulations Pertaining to Firearms, Explosives, Incendiary Devices, and Other Dangerous Weapons, dated October 31, 1967:
  • an assessment of current regulations permitting Members of Congress to store firearms in their personal offices to assess whether a complete ban on firearms in the Capitol Complex should be instituted;
  • a requirement that all federal and District of Columbia laws and regulations, and any associated fines and penalties, that prohibit firearms on the Capitol grounds are prominently displayed throughout the Capitol Complex;
  • inclusion of language that would strictly prohibit individuals (including Members of Congress, staff, and other employees of the Capitol), outside of authorized law enforcement, from carrying firearms in the Capitol Complex, EXCEPT:
    • (1) with prior written authorization for the purpose of displaying or storing an unloaded firearm in a Member’s personal office; and (2) in compliance with all federal and local laws and regulations governing the transport and storage of firearms in the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to, possession of a firearms license;
    • personal firearms authorized under this subsection must be transported directly to and securely stored in a Member’s personal office, solely by the Member himself or herself;
    • Capitol Police and other specified law enforcement would be authorized to conduct routine, unscheduled inspections to ensure safe storage in designated areas.
  • inclusion of language clarifying that firearms are prohibited from committee spaces (including not being allowed in a chair’s personal office connected to a committee room), Capitol complex dining halls, restrooms, and all other spaces outside of Members’ personal offices.
As I’ve said time and again, the safety and security of Members of Congress, staff, employees, visitors, and all individuals in the buildings and on the grounds of the Capitol complex is of the highest priority.  I will stand firm in my commitment to advocating for Members’ accessibility to clear and prudent firearms guidelines in order to prevent further ambiguity and ensure compliance with the rules.
 
I appreciate your consideration of this matter and look forward to your taking swift action at your next meeting to address this matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
STENY H. HOYER
U.S. House Majority Leader