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“The signs were put up literally because we have to by law. The only way we can search somebody and have those charges stick is have the sign posted.” – Secret Service spokesman David Iacovetti in After 28 years, Secret Service posts warning: No guns in White House [at usatoday.com]

31 Responses to Quote of the Day: Secret Service Discovers 28-Year-Old Gun Control Law

  1. I am positive any prospective gunslingers visiting the White House leave their iron somewhere. Because if they expect me to believe folks weren’t getting searched and charged for weapons found *until now* then I guess I’m in the market for a large suspension bridge.

  2. So, in 28 years, has anyone been charged under that law? Have those charges add ince been dropped?

    Also, since I’m part of The People, and the White House is The People’s house, why should I be prohibited from carrying there?

    • Good point. If the President truly cared about his personal safety and the security of the White House he’d make guns available to everyone who entered. Since the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, more people with guns in the White House would make it safer for everyone. Should apply to Congress and court rooms too.

    • Never been there. I Know the white house is large and that the royal family lives in part of it. The actual living quarters of barry the first, would that be considered a private residence? If it’s his home he may have the right to ask people not to carry in that portion of the building. But that portion isn’t open to the public, is it?

      • Aside from a law addressing the White House specifically, I’d say it’s public housing with some common areas. Whether the federal government or cities, as landlords, can bar firearms has been fought in the courts in recent years. I read that Delaware’s SC applied their state constitution and allowed firearms in private and public areas of public housing. I recall reading that HUD’s position is that local administrators make that call. I haven’t followed the issue any more closely than that, so I’m not sure.

    • I think that’s under a different law. From when Kennedy was pres. And I don’t think they need signs there either. The post office here in Chesterfield Township has a no guns sign, though.

      • I can’t believe that. I don’t hang at the PO all that much, but I probably go there several times a year, and for the last 15 years I’ve been armed every time. If it were some kind of problem, wouldn’t somebody have mentioned my CC? Hell, if it’s against some law, it wouldn’t even be possible, would it? /sarc

  3. This just shows how stupid the Secret Service really is. Clueless.
    Guess it’s all the hookers and booze and Obama; the stupidity just rains in this WH..

    JS

  4. Sounds like they never needed the signs because they never needed the law before. The federal law (providing no criminal intent) only carries a penalty of up to one year in prison but the DC law carries a 5 year sentence. Now with Heller there are actual legal DC carriers and if one of them were to take the White House tour with their gat they couldn’t prosecute them and for that matter wouldn’t even have a legal right to search them without the signs.

  5. I have been to the WH a number of times to meet w officials there. There is a massive security screening process to get into the place, including metal detectors, xray scanners etc. I think this is more for those who either jump the fence (and trespassing is a weak charge) or for anyone in a motorcade of dignitaries.

    What is interesting is everytime I went, they wanted name and soc # before hand to run a background check and they knew I had a carry permit already when I got there

    • Very interesting. Did they have that info the very first time you went there?
      Once they captured your info, they could keep it in their own SS database.
      But if they already had it the very first time, that would infer they captured it from a fusion center.
      I thought background checks to purchase a gun were a one time thing, and not supposed to be held over time.
      And CCW permits were supposed to be private, at state level. And banking records limit disclosure to last four of SSN, for example.
      HR people and we citizens have all sorts of HIPAA and other rules to abide by.
      Now, dont get me wrong- I am not so naive to believe the US Govt would NOT break the rules, as it saw fit, or interpret them creatively in the gray area.
      We already know by open source news reports that LEOs have been caught checking up on girlfriends, wives, by illegally accessing criminal and civil files, phone, and other records normally requiring a background check authorization, warrant, or subpoena, including snooping through celebrities online medical records, for entertainment.
      Its just interesting to speculate on how they accomplished the act here, again.

  6. There had to be many years in the past when armed Citizens went in and out of the White House freely and no one ever thought anything about it. The Secret Service was created in 1865 mainly to investigate an epidemic of counterfeit currency plaguing the Nation. The White House Police were created in 1922 and placed under the Chief Officer of the Secret Service in 1930. During the Civil War there were soldiers stationed at the White House, but their duties as Guards seems to have been more reactive than proactive.
    Presidents used to meet directly with people wishing to petition them in person, so one has to believe more than a few of those petitioners must have been armed, possibly some of the Presidents they met with had a pocket pistol in their coat.
    An interesting topic for a book for any of you more ambitious than I am. I’d guess at least one Doctoral Dissertation has been written on the subject.

    • My understanding of the soldiers on duty at the white house was that these men were on “light duty’ recovering from injuries sustained in the field.

      The story I’ve always heard about Lincolns death was that a lone DC policeman was gaurding the entranceto lincolns booth. And he stepped away for a refreshment break.

      • Yes, I have heard the story about Lincoln’s guard at Ford’s theater too. The info about “light duty” soldiers at the White House is new to me, but makes sense. Thanks.jwm!

        • Another story I’ve heard more than once was about the Grant Whitehouse. He supposedly made it a priority to hire vets from the union army that were disabled in the war. Gaurds that were one armed, etc.

      • During the Civil War, almost the entire component of the Capitol Military District were recovering wounded from the Army of the Potomac. It stands to reason that White House security detachment would come from the local unit. Politics played a part in the makeup of troops assigned to garrison duty vs. the maneuver units. McLellan vs. all others in other words.

    • Please come visit California and put that applied to the Governor’s Mansion and Capitol Building in Sacramento on the ballot for November. I am sure some people here would gladly handle the rest…

  7. The only time I’ve visited the WH was in 1996. I did the tour. I’m sure things have changed a lot, but I had to go through screening (metal detector, hand wand, x-ray machine for bags, etc) back then. I had a small Swiss Army knife on me that I had forgot about. I handed it to the screening Secret Service agent before I went through the metal detector thinking I’d have to give it up, but he handed it back to me and said it wasn’t a problem. I guess back then a young teenager with a pocket knife wasn’t the grave national security threat that we’re expected to believe he is today.

  8. “(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both….

    (d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
    (1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
    (2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
    (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.”

    Section 3’s “Other lawful purposes” being the potential out.

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