Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
December 14, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) sent a letter to the Capitol Police Board, including its current Chair, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms & Doorkeeper Karen Gibson; House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker; Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton; and Ex-Officio Board Member Police Chief J. Thomas Manger to ask for a briefing on the status of reviewing regulations around carrying firearms into House office buildings. In light of recent threats regarding firearms, Leader Hoyer asks the review board to consider expressly banning firearms in committee rooms, hearing rooms, and other areas of public gathering within the U.S. Capitol Complex.

From Leader Hoyer’s letter: “I have heard from a number of Members and staff who are greatly concerned about the lack of clarity about rules that permit Members of Congress to carry personal firearms in their offices.  Too often we have seen instances in which Members have claimed that it is permissible to carry firearms (and, indeed, have admitted that they were in possession of firearms) elsewhere on Capitol Hill, including committee and hearing rooms, which under current regulations is prohibited.  No matter who possesses these weapons and how well trained they are in their safe personal use, their very presence in these spaces makes them less safe to all, especially to the U.S. Capitol Police officers who are already under enormous pressure to protect the premises.  The presence of deadly firearms only raises the dangers of a violent incident, an accidental discharge, or some other preventable tragedy.  That is why it is essential that rules and regulations regarding where personal firearms may or may not be carried must be communicated clearly to Members.”
 
Click here to read the letter, or see the full text below.
 
December 14, 2021
 
Hon. Karen Gibson
Sergeant-at-Arms & Doorkeeper
U.S. Senate
Chair, Capitol Police Board
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. William Walker
Sergeant-at-Arms
U.S. House of Representatives
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
 
Hon. J. Thomas Manger
Chief of Police
Ex-Officio Member, Capitol Police Board
119 D Street NE
Washington, DC 20510


Dear Sergeant Gibson, Sergeant Walker, Mr. Blanton, and Chief Manger:
 
The safety of Members, staff, employees, U.S. Capitol Police officers, and visitors must remain a top priority in the aftermath of the January 6 and April 2 attacks.  This is particularly true both in light of the increased threats made against Members on social media and online and also in light of heinous threats made by certain Members against colleagues while on the grounds of the Capitol and its office buildings.  As the Capitol Police Board reviews current regulations and seeks ways to update those that are no longer sufficient, I write to ask that the Board provide Members with a briefing on the status of this process. 
 
I have heard from a number of Members and staff who are greatly concerned about the lack of clarity about rules that permit Members of Congress to carry personal firearms in their offices.  Too often we have seen instances in which Members have claimed that it is permissible to carry firearms (and, indeed, have admitted that they were in possession of firearms) elsewhere on Capitol Hill, including committee and hearing rooms, which under current regulations is prohibited.  No matter who possesses these weapons and how well trained they are in their safe personal use, their very presence in these spaces makes them less safe to all, especially to the U.S. Capitol Police officers who are already under enormous pressure to protect the premises.  The presence of deadly firearms only raises the dangers of a violent incident, an accidental discharge, or some other preventable tragedy.  That is why it is essential that rules and regulations regarding where personal firearms may or may not be carried must be communicated clearly to Members.  
 
The Speaker already took action to ban firearms in the Hall of the House, where all the Members assemble regularly for votes.  I hope that, as the Board continues to identify other ways to maintain the highest levels of safety on Capitol Hill, you will consider ensuring that committee rooms, hearing rooms, and other areas of public gathering will always be firearm-free. 
 
I appreciate your considering this request, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Board to ensure the highest standards of safety and security for the Capitol complex and for all who come here.
 
Sincerely,
 
STENY H. HOYER
U.S. House Majority Leader