Republicans Test Gun Regulations, Illegally Armed On House Floor

Several reports from D.C. allege that Republican House members are defying regulations that forbid weapons to be carried into Congressional Chambers. While members can be armed on Capitol grounds, there are restricted areas — and there seems to be a new concerted effort to test enforcement of this rule.

Republicans defy gun laws
[Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images]

Madison Cawthorn, a Republican Representative for Missouri, was reportedly armed during the Capitol riot. The Citizen Times reports that he himself has admitted to being armed, although the House and Senate were meeting in chambers, where weapons are not allowed.

According to NBC, Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) brought this question up after the election in November, asking if she would be able to carry her weapon on Capitol grounds, resulting in a restatement of regulations: members of Congress may carry on Capitol grounds, but are responsible for safe storage of their weapons, which is understood to mean in their offices, when they are in chambers or other areas where carry is restricted.

However, Republicans may be trying to force this issue to a head. On January 21, it came up multiple times as Congress members entered Chambers.

HuffPost reporter Matt Fuller shared that a Republican Representative from Maryland, Andy Harris, had encountered issues as he tried to enter House chambers apparently armed, but was ultimately allowed in.

He wasn’t the only reporter to witness such from Republican Representatives Thursday afternoon. NBC correspondent Garrett Haake tweeted to share that he saw the aforementioned Representative Boebert and Arizona Republican Andy Biggs defy Capitol police and security efforts and head into chambers armed.

Even some Republicans not directly participating in the defiant behavior expressed support, including Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who tweeted to complain about efforts to disarm Boebert, making the conspiratorial claim that this is a first step in disarming Americans generally.

According to Roll Call, lawmakers have been warned that attempts to dodge screening or enter chambers with prohibited items may result in not being allowed to enter, aside from potentially being fined for carrying in a restricted area.

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