House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wrote a letter Tuesday to the House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms requesting a briefing on the Capitol Police Board’s review of the policy on firearms being carried on Capitol grounds.
The letter, which was released by Hoyer, is addressed to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper to the U.S. Senate Karen Gibson, who also is the chair of the Capitol Police Board; House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker; Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton, who also sits on the board; and Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger, who is an ex-officio member of the board.
“The presence of deadly firearms only raises the dangers of a violent incident, an accidental discharge, or some other preventable tragedy,” Hoyer wrote. “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.”
Hoyer noted that the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was followed by “heinous threats made by certain Members against colleagues while on the grounds of the Capitol,” and therefore the board should consider his safety recommendations.
“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,” he said, adding that “the Speaker already took action to ban firearms in the Hall of the House.”
The House majority leader previously voiced his support for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, saying in March that “nine out of 10 Americans support the reforms in this bill. That includes a majority of Republicans and a majority of responsible gun owners. This is one of the greatest examples of legislation that truly reflects the will of the American people.”