Rep. Steube: Let House Employees Have Weapons

Rep. Steube: Let House Employees Have Weapons

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., wants congressional employees who legally can carry a firearm or other self-defense weapon to be able to bring a weapon into House office buildings in Washington, D.C., for protection against crime in the city.

“Violent crime has skyrocketed across the country, enabled by disastrous soft-on-crime Democrat policies. Sadly, our nation’s capital is regressing to total lawlessness and violent chaos. Today, I’m introducing legislation to ensure congressional employees have the right to defend themselves in crime-ridden D.C.,” Steube said in a press release introducing his bill.

“My bill is simple: Any employee who is lawfully permitted to carry a firearm, stun gun, or self-defense spray will be able to bring those weapons on their commute to a House office building and safely store the weapon until they are ready to depart the building.”

The bill, called The Safe Storage Lockers for House Office Buildings Act, requires U.S. Capitol Police to install and monitor storage lockers located at all pedestrian entrances to each of the House office buildings around the U.S. Capitol that can be used by congressional employees who can legally carry a firearm or other self-defense weapons and devices to store the weapons when they arrive at work and retrieve them on the way home.

District of Columbia law allows for residents to carry weapons for self-defense including firearms, stun guns, or sprays; but federal law prohibits them in federal buildings, the release said.

According to the release, there were 2,654 violent crime incidents in Washington, D.C., that included victims among congressional staff members commuting to and from the office.

House GOP members and the Senate recently passed a resolution knocking down the Council of the District of Columbia’s revision of the criminal code that would have lightened sentences for violent crimes such as carjackings, robberies, and burglaries, as well as done away with mandatory minimum sentences for crimes except for homicide, the release said.

The resolution now goes to President Joe Biden to sign.

According to a report from Metropolitan Police Department, crime showed an overall drop of 1% in 2022 as compared to 2021, with decreases in the majority of violent crime categories with the exceptions of robbery, which increased by 2%, and motor vehicle thefts, which rose 8% over 2021.

As of Friday, year-to-date violent crime is down by 9% compared to the same period in 2022. However, crime is up significantly in all but four categories including a 30% increase in homicides, a 127% increase in sex abuse cases, a 109% increase in motor vehicle thefts, and a 300% increase in arsons, according to the city.

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