Tuesday’s State of the Union was peaceful, but safety concerns prompted a contentious meeting last week in which Republicans quashed Democrats’ push to continue banning firearms in House committee rooms.
The debate and party-line vote came as the Natural Resources Committee decided on its rules for the 118th Congress, which left out a 2021 provision prohibiting members of Congress from bringing firearms into the hearing room.
The same Democrat who raised the debate, Rep. Jared Huffman, and others in his party sent a letter to congressional leadership raising concerns ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address and referencing past flaps. In one incident Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, set off metal detectors by carrying a concealed gun when trying to go to the House floor.
Debates about members of Congress carrying weapons are nothing new.