Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Congressmen with America's Most Popular Rifle: A Cause for Panic in DC

Friday, April 24, 2015

Congressmen with America's Most Popular Rifle: A Cause for Panic in DC

Last week, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) tweeted a picture of himself and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C) holding an AR-15.  Rep. Buck later reported that the photo was taken in his Capitol Hill House office.  While a photo of two congressmen posing with the most popular rifle in the United States (and one trigger-locked and without a bolt carrier group at that) shouldn’t raise any rational public safety concerns, it apparently caused enough handwringing for the D.C. Attorney General’s Office that they referred the picture to the Metropolitan Police Department for further investigation. 

The AG’s office seemed to have allowed their irrational fear of guns (or maybe of Republican lawmakers) to get a little ahead of their knowledge of the laws they are charged with enforcing. That’s because federal law, not D.C. law, controls on Capitol grounds, and the federal rules pertaining to firearms possession by members of Congress are perfectly clear.   Federal law generally provides that “[a]n individual or group of individuals . . . except as authorized by regulations prescribed by the Capitol Police Board . . . may not carry on or have readily accessible to any individual on the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings a firearm . . . .”  However, there is an exemption that applies to “any act performed in the lawful discharge of official duties by . . . a Member of Congress . . . . “The Capitol Police Board regulations implementing this statute state, “[A]ny member of Congress” is eligible under the regulation to “maintain[] firearms within the confines of his [or her] office,” as well as to “transport[] within the Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”  So, Rep. Buck and Rep. Gowdy were acting squarely within the applicable law when the photo was taken. 

Rep. Buck would have been required to pass through D.C. to get to the Capitol, and it is possible that the AG’s office was merely concerned with the transportation through D.C. itself.  However, the transportation of firearms from one place where it is lawful to possess them to another place where it is lawful to possess them is protected under both federal and D.C. law. 

The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (“FOPA”) was passed in part to cover individuals exactly like Rep. Buck.  Where a lawful gun owner can lawfully possess and carry a firearm in both the origin and destination of a journey, the gun owner may lawfully pass through any intervening jurisdiction, notwithstanding its restrictive gun laws, as long as the gun owner stores the firearm in compliance with FOPA during transportation.  The D.C. Code contains a similar transportation provision, of which the D.C. Attorney General’s Office is hopefully aware. 

That a photo of two congressmen peacefully posing with what has been commonly referred to as “America’s Rifle” led to so many questions about possible violations of local D.C. law further underscores the importance of “The Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015.” This federal legislation would restore an American concept of the Second Amendment to the Nation’s Capitol, where local officials like to pretend the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t exist or apply to their actions. 

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support “The Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015.”  You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121 or by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

In the days leading up to the annual lobby day in Richmond, Va.—where thousands of Virginians traditionally lobby their legislators on numerous issues – an unprecedented number of supporters of the Second Amendment were expected ...

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

Despite the peaceful, orderly, and diverse gun rights protest that attracted tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to the state capitol, Virginia’s Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly has continued to push forward a radical anti-gun agenda.

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

On the eve of the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Associated Press reporter Lisa Marie Pane wrote an article titled, “Gun industry gathers amid slumping sales, rising tensions.” But it ...

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Monday, January 27, 2020

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Most West Virginia public school systems close for the opening week of deer hunting season for the benefit of students, staff, and their families to enjoy their hunting heritage. House Bill 2433 will impose a one-size-fits-all calendar ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.