Norton Condemns Brooks for Introducing Bill to Allow Members to Carry Guns in D.C. and Says Republicans Cannot Even Agree on How Best to Undermine D.C.’s Gun Safety Laws

Jun 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today condemned Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) for being the latest Member of Congress to exploit last week’s shooting at a congressional baseball practice to undermine the District of Columbia’s gun safety laws.  Representative Brooks, according to press reports, will introduce a bill this week to allow Members of Congress to carry guns throughout the District of Columbia.  Norton said Brooks is abusing congressional power over the District; otherwise, he would introduce a bill to allow Members to carry guns nationwide, including on federal properties like the Capitol Complex, where his jurisdiction is undisputed.  Last week, Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a bill to force D.C. to recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed guns, regardless of the standards those states use for issuing permits.

“Representative Brooks apparently did not want to be left out as Members use last week’s horrific shooting to go after D.C.’s local gun safety laws,” Norton said.  “If Representative Brooks believes it is the best policy for Members of Congress to carry guns at all times, why not introduce a bill that allows Members to carry guns anywhere they go?  Not every state recognizes out of state permits, so why not allow lawmakers to be able to carry in those states if they can carry in D.C.?  What about entire the Capitol Complex and the many federal buildings throughout the U.S.?  The truth is Representative Brooks wants to misuse congressional power over the District of Columbia to single out our local jurisdiction.  Republicans apparently cannot even agree on how to step on the District.  Representative Brooks is at odds with his colleague, Representative Massie, who, in his statement regarding his bill to weaken D.C.’s gun safety laws, said he ‘did not want to extend a special privilege to politicians.’  All they can agree on is taking cheap shots at the District.  After last week’s shooting, Representative Brooks called for sending a message of unity and bipartisanship to the American people.  He is undermining that goal with his attack on D.C.’s local gun safety laws.”

Federal law prohibits guns in the Capitol Complex.  However, federal regulations permit Members to possess guns in their offices.  Members may transport guns throughout the Capitol Complex, provided they are unloaded and securely wrapped.  Members may not bring guns onto the floor of either the House or Senate without approval of the Sergeants at Arms of both chambers that they are necessary for security.