Democrats' New House Rules Don't Include Capitol Gun Ban

With the unveiling of proposed rules for the House of Representatives this weekend, gun control advocates in Congress appear to have suffered their first setback of 2021. A proposed ban on lawmakers carrying concealed firearms inside the U.S. Capitol building wasn’t included in the new rules released by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, despite pleas by California Democrat Jared Huffman and 20 other House Democrats demanding that lawmakers be disarmed inside the building.

In a win for Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., the new rules do not include a Democratic proposal to ban lawmakers from carrying guns at the Capitol, just like visitors are prohibited from bringing in firearms.

Members of Congress are allowed to have firearms on Capitol grounds, although there are certain places where they can’t carry, such as the House chamber, Speaker’s Lobby, cloakroom and the Rayburn Room. Boebert, a Second Amendment enthusiast, has been seeking an expansion of where she’s allowed to carry — prompting concern from some Democrats.

Huffman and his colleagues had sent a letter to Pelosi encouraging the carrying ban, but Boebert responded with a letter of her own co-signed by 82 House members urging the Speaker to keep the current rule in place, and it appears that Pelosi will keep her focus on restricting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners who aren’t members of Congress, at least for now.

One of Boebert’s fellow Colorado congresscritters had the dumbest take of all on the issue, accusing the Republican of “disrespecting” the Capitol Police by wanting to exercise her right to carry.

It doesn’t matter how safe Jason Crow might feel at the Capitol. My rights aren’t based on your feelings, after all. Boebert says she plans on walking to and from work in a dangerous city, and she won’t be provided a detail of Capitol Police officers to ensure that she gets home safely at night. Her safety is her responsibility, and she’s chosen to protect herself with a legally-carried gun; not only in the Capitol itself but on the streets of D.C. as well. That’s not disrespecting the Capitol Police; it’s respecting her own life enough to want to protect it.

If the parties were reversed, Jason Crow would be accused of “mansplaining” to Boebert, but because he’s a Democrat and she’s a Republican, Crow doesn’t have to worry about being called out or cancelled for his dismissive and condescending tone. Crow’s tweet is far more of a political stunt than Boebert’s decision to carry in the Capitol building, especially given the fact that Crow didn’t even sign on to Huffman’s letter to Pelosi demanding that members of Congress be disarmed inside the Capitol.

If Crow didn’t feel the need to demand a change, I don’t know why he’d feel the need to criticize Boebert for doing something that’s allowed under the current rules, unless it’s to simply demonstrate his continued fealty to gun control groups over the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

I guess in that sense both Crow and Boebert are going to get what they want. Crow will get a nice comment or two from anti-gun organizations praising him for his “common sense gun safety” approach, and Boebert (along with other members of Congress) will get to carry in the Capitol.