GOP Rep. Massie ‘glad’ he was armed during Capitol siege

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WASHINGTON — GOP Rep. Thomas Massie said Friday he and several other members of Congress felt relieved they were carrying firearms when a mob of rioters overpowered police and stormed the Capitol in a siege that claimed the lives of five people.

The Kentucky Republican’s remarks follow a recent debate about whether lawmakers should be allowed to carry guns in the historic building.

“The next member who argues Congressmen shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms at work needs to be laughed out of the Capitol,” Massie wrote.

“Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff,” he added.

Freshman GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert from Colorado scored a win last month when she fought House leadership to preserve a 1967 rule that allows lawmakers to be armed for self-defense.

Boebert, a vocal advocate for Second Amendment rights, was ridiculed when she released a video of herself explaining why she would wear a loaded gun on the job.

Members of Congress are allowed to store firearms in their offices and transport them in Washington, DC, as long as they are not loaded. They are not allowed to carry them into the chamber.

Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Thomas Massie
AP

Dozens of Democrats called for the 1967 rule to be overturned, claiming in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that firearms “create needless risk for Members of Congress, their staff, members of the Capitol Police, and visitors to the Capitol grounds.”

But Boebert won after submitting her own petition to Pelosi with the signatures of 82 colleagues and the new rules included no such Democrat-requested ban.

Just days before the siege, Massie and Boebert announced they were creating the Second Amendment Caucus to fight for gun rights.

The head of the Capitol Police resigned Thursday as officials continue to question how law enforcement was so unprepared and demonstrators were able to get so close to members of Congress.

The Senate on Friday announced it had launched a bipartisan investigation into the “security failures” that resulted in Wednesday’s siege on Capitol Hill.



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