Heard on the Hill

Norton Tries to Shame Republicans Into Dropping Efforts to Overturn D.C. Gun Laws

D.C. delegate points to signs outside Capitol Hill buildings announcing guns are prohibited

New signs outside Capitol complex buildings warn of prohibited items. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Have you noticed the signs that went up this week, letting you know that guns are prohibited from the Capitol complex? 

District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has. And she finds it “ironic” that while Republicans continue to attempt to overturn D.C.’s gun laws, they find it important to protect their workplace.

“[Republicans] want to make sure that they are in a gun-safe workplace but care little about the rest of D.C., and that’s what our officials have the responsibility of,” she said. “Gun bills have almost become a sport. It seems to me that [Republicans] have won most of what they could possible want.”

Federal law prohibits guns in the Capitol complex and other federal buildings.

Washington, D.C., has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Norton noted that there were eight attempts to overturn or block those laws in the 114th Congress.

This week, Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie introduced a bill to eliminate gun-free zones in schools nationwide.

“What business is it of his?” Norton asked. “The District just shouldn’t be in it any more than anybody else’s district should be.”

But the D.C. delegate doesn’t expect her efforts to point out the hypocrisy in the signs to shame Republicans into stopping their efforts.

“What has happened in the past is we’ve been able to simply defeat them and we’ve been trying to keep them from essentially governing the District of Columbia through their own views of gun laws,” she said.

Ahead of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, Norton said D.C.’s gun laws are important and “very serviceable to the Secret Service,” now more than ever.

“Imagine, with these hundreds of thousands of people coming to the nation’s capital, if they came carrying,” she said. 

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