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By Gun Owners Of America,

Today, Gun Owners of America criticized certain illegal and unconstitutional measures implemented in the United States Capitol by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Following the breach of the Capitol Complex and the resignation of the Capitol Hill Police Chief, Representative Thomas Massie remarked that, “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.

Under the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the acting sergeant-at-arms informed House members and staff: “Effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required [to] undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber” (emphasis added).

Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs commented: “This new ‘security measure’ wouldn’t have prevented a single crime or saved a single life when Capitol security failed on Wednesday January 6th, 2020.

“Instead, Speaker Pelosi’s ‘security theater’ is a direct attack on Members of Congress and staff who recently publicized their desire to carry firearms for self-defense while going to, from, and on Capitol Hill.

“More importantly, metal detectors and searches at the entrance to the House Floor are a violation of our Constitution,” Johnston said.

Not only does the Second Amendment protect the American right to keep and bear arms from being infringed, but Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution exempts Members of Congress “from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.”

Further, while 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(1) grants the Capitol Police Board authority to issue regulations pertaining to the carrying of firearms on Capitol Grounds, 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(3) explicitly exempts (A) Members of Congress and (B) employees of Members of Congress.

“This unconstitutional and illegal attempt to enforce a gun-free zone on the House Chamber Floor reveals Speaker Pelosi’s willingness to violate any Article, Section, Clause, or Amendment of our Constitution that stands between her and the implementation of gun control,” Johnston said.

“If Members of Congress fail to recognize and oppose this illegal and unconstitutional infringement on their rights, they can never be counted on to recognize and defend the rights of the people.”

Gun Owners of America has previously supported the right of members and staff to carry firearms on Capitol Hill for self-defense, as GOA supports the rights of all law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in their workplace. Gun Owners of America is a grassroots organization representing more than two million gun owners nationwide and is dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise.

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Tags: speaker pelosi’s house speaker nancy pelosi members of congress our constitution to carry firearms the house chamber members and staff to recognize for self defense on capitol hill the capitol the rights

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An attack on America thats divided Congress — and a nation

On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, just hours after terrorists attacked the United States, scores of lawmakers from both parties gathered on the Capitol’s East Steps for an outward show of national solidarity and an impromptu rendering of "God Bless America." 

There was no such unifying moment after last week’s deadly mob attack on the same building.

Just hours after a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol, a pair of lawmakers — a Democrat and a Republican — nearly came to blows on the same House floor that armed officers had just bravely defended. The parties immediately sniped over the true identity of the rioters — and which party bore the blame for inciting them. 

Hours after the Capitol had been secured, 122 Republicans — a majority of the House conference — voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in two battleground states, aligning themselves squarely behind the same specious cause as the angry mob.

These extraordinary events mark a stunning finale to a uniquely bitter era of partisan conflict under President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE. Each side maintains the other is responsible for the acrimony. 

“It is a very troubling time for our whole country and for the Congress,” Rep. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettCapitol Police say reports of officer's death are wrong Congress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts MORE (D-Texas), a 25-year veteran of Capitol Hill, said Friday of the heightened hostility. “It's reached a new level.”

Signs of the distrust are everywhere.  

Democrats are calling for investigations into whether some GOP lawmakers abetted the rioters in the Jan. 6 assault.

Republicans have fired back, accusing Democrats of driving the country apart by impeaching the president just days before he is set to leave office. 

Highlighting just how deep the suspicions have grown, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Pelosi suggests criminal charges for any lawmaker who helped with Capitol riot Pelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate MORE (D-Calif.) installed walk-through metal detectors around the House chamber, not to discourage outside attackers, but to prevent some ardent 2nd Amendment defenders from bringing firearms on the floor.

When Republicans mocked the precaution by circumventing the machines, she quickly imposed $5,000 fines for would-be violators. 

“In order to serve here with each other we must trust that people have respect for their oath of office, respect for this institution,” Pelosi told reporters Friday in the Capitol. “We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth.”

The enmity has accompanied a tense and violent opening to the 117th Congress, as the country prepares for the transition to the Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE administration after months when Trump refused to accept his election defeat. Those tensions reached a tragic crescendo on Jan. 6, when thousands of Trump devotees marched on the Capitol to block the vote formalizing Biden's victory. 

In several hours of bedlam that followed, more than 50 police officers were injured and one, Officer Brian Sicknick, was killed. Four rioters also died, including one who was shot by police as she tried to climb through a window to access the House chamber.

Shocking video from the day’s events shows a gallows erected outside the Capitol, and rioters can be seen chanting, “Hang Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFeds walk back claim that Capitol rioters sought 'to capture and assassinate' officials Trump tells aides to never mention Nixon after comparisons McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE!” and, “Where’s Nancy?” — haunting references to the powerful politicians who are first and second in line to the presidency.  

Trump’s own Justice Department this week described the assault as “a violent insurrection that attempted to overthrow the United States Government." 

Lawmakers, speaking to The Hill on condition of anonymity, said they continue to fear for their lives and those of their loved ones. Some are exploring using congressional funds to hire private security, while others are avoiding airports after Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Additional airlines ban guns on flights to DC ahead of inauguration MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaFAA: No more warnings for unruly passengers on flights Criminalization that never should have been: Cannabis Man arrested, charged with threatening to attack Muslims in Germany MORE (D-Calif.) had run-ins with hostile Trump supporters that were captured on video.

First-term Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), an Iraq War vet and intelligence analyst who was one of 10 Republicans who backed impeaching Trump, said on MSNBC he plans to buy body armor and is changing his daily routines after receiving death threats.

And progressive superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate New York AG sues NYPD over excessive force at Black Lives Matter protests Pressley's chief of staff said her office's panic buttons 'had been torn out' before Capitol riot MORE (D-N.Y.) detailed in an Instagram Live video that she avoided the undisclosed, secure room where House lawmakers were evacuated because she thought “QAnons and white supremacist sympathizers” there would give away her location to a mob hell-bent on killing her. She was referring to some of her Republican colleagues.

The fear and finger-pointing is a long departure from the environment of unity and national healing that followed the attacks of 9/11. And the contrast highlights the stark differences between the two tragedies — one orchestrated by Muslim extremists from foreign lands, the other by domestic allies of a sitting president. 

The Washington Post reported that dozens of people on a domestic terrorism watch list, including many suspected white supremacists, were in Washington for the Jan. 6 protests. One rioter carried a Confederate flag through the Senate halls, while another donned a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie. An Alabama man, who had guns and Molotov cocktails in his truck, was carrying a note with the name of Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), who is Black and Muslim.  

Law enforcement officials are bracing for more violence from pro-Trump factions starting during the long weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr., who was cut down by an assassin’s bullet during the civil rights movement. 

The extremists “see themselves losing the white power and the white supremacy that they have enjoyed for generations because our nation is going to become majority black and Hispanic and people of color by 2040. They are resentful of that,” said Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonLawmakers warned police of possible attack ahead of siege McMorris Rodgers floats vacating Speaker's chair over Democrat's in-person vote after COVID diagnosis Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D-Fla.), a Black Caucus member who correctly predicted the violent assault on the Capitol in a warning to police a week earlier.

“So Make America Great Again actually means Make America White Again,” she said. “And that is the premise of how the Trump presidency was formulated and won.”

Republicans quickly rejected those charges, saying the seeds of violence were nurtured earlier in the year during the nationwide protests against police brutality that followed the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. While most of those marches were peaceful, others featured rampant looting, violent clashes with police and destruction of property, including a Minneapolis police station. At least 19 people were killed in the first two weeks of protests alone. 

Republicans said the same Democrats accusing Trump of inciting violence now had tolerated it then. 

“If we prosecuted BLM and Antifa rioters across the country with the same determination these last six months, this incident may not have happened at all,” said Rep. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockCoalition of 7 conservative House Republicans says they won't challenge election results Five Republicans vote for bill to decriminalize marijuana House passes sweeping reform bill to decriminalize marijuana MORE (R-Calif.).

In the wee hours of Thursday, while the Capitol was still in tatters from the attack, the fiery rhetorical clashes threatened to turn physical when Reps. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisHere are the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Maryland Democrats call for resignation of GOP lawmaker following Capitol Hill riots MORE (R-Md.) and Colin Allred (D-Texas) exchanged sharp words on the House floor after another lawmaker, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Md.), accused Republicans of “lying” about rampant voter fraud stealing the election from Trump. Lawmakers and aides from both parties had to rush to the scene to separate the pair.

Since the attack, most Republicans have howled against Trump’s second impeachment, warning that it will only further divide a torn country. Those calls fell on deaf ears: Democrats impeached Trump on Wednesday with bipartisan support. And Democrats are incredulous that some Trump allies are calling for unity after their own leader encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” or risk losing their country.

“Some of my colleagues, some of which may well be co-conspirators in their latest attempt to placate and please this unfit president, suggest that we shouldn't punish Trump for his actions in order to unify the country,” Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondPelosi to seat Iowa Republican as Democratic challenger contests election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 Biden Interior nominee discusses environmental injustice with tribal leaders MORE (D-La.), who is leaving Congress to join the Biden White House, said in a floor speech before the impeachment vote. 

“That is the climax of foolishness.”


Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Frederica Wilson Cedric Richmond Tom McClintock Lindsey Graham Lloyd Doggett Nancy Pelosi colin allred Donald Trump Andre Carson Andy Harris Mike Pence Lou Correa Joe Biden Capitol breach Impeachment Inauguration Black Lives Matter

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