Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the No Congressional Gun Loophole Act, which would remove Members of Congress’ longstanding exemption from the Capitol’s gun safety regulations. The legislation would explicitly prevent Members from carrying firearms in the Capitol and House office buildings and require Members of Congress to comply with District of Columbia gun safety and registration requirements. Currently, a Capitol Police Board regulation from 1967 exempts Members of Congress from rules that prevent everyone else who visits or works at the U.S. Capitol from carrying a firearm.
“As a survivor of gun violence, I know what it’s like to battle for your life after being shot five times and left for dead. And statistics show that accidents happen when there are firearms around. The existing exemption for Representatives increases the risk of gun violence for Members, staff, and the public. It’s long past time we close the Member loophole and protect all who enter the Capitol complex,” Rep. Speier said.
“Threats of political violence are on the rise, and it makes all of us less safe if Members of Congress and their staff don’t have to comply with gun safety standards,” Rep. Huffman said. “Members should not be above the law. These outdated and dangerous rules, that apply to everyone else who visits and works in the halls of Congress, must be modernized for everyone’s safety.”
This bill follows a recent letter to House leadership requesting a change in House Rules for the 117th Congress to ensure that Members of Congress are held to the same firearm safety rules as the public while they are on Capitol grounds. These actions were undertaken in the wake of escalating rhetoric and threats of political violence, as well as increased attention to the current rules during Freshmen Member Orientation following the 2020 election. Currently, Members of Congress are exempt from the firearms prohibition in 40 U.S.C. § 5104 under the Capitol Police Board’s regulations.
Reps. Speier and Huffman were joined in this legislation by Representatives André D. Carson (D-IN) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).