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Washington, DC police have announced that a Congressman who posted a photo of himself with what appears to be a colorfully-painted AR-15 outside his office didn’t actually break any laws, reports HuffPo. Apparently, the DC city attorney general leaped into action when Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) posted a photograph on Twitter posing with the scary rifle along with fellow Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and “referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Department for further investigation.” The District, naturally, bans certain rifles based on purely on aesthetics and the rifle in the photo sure looks like one that might have been covered under DC law . . .

As part of their investigation, the boys at Metro apparently started their investigation by, well, punting it over to the Capitol Police, since challenging sitting Congresscritters is probably a good way to end careers at DC Metro. The Capitol Coppers immediately launched their investigation by…well, reading their own regulations, I guess.

“[Capitol Police Board] regulations … specifically provide that members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office and they and any employee or agent of any member of Congress may transport within the Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped,” Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said.

Indeed, 40 USC sec. 5104(e) states:

(A) except as authorized by regulations prescribed by the Capitol Police Board—
(i) may not carry on or have readily accessible to any individual on the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings a firearm, a dangerous weapon, explosives, or an incendiary device; (emphasis added.)

A quick internet search revealed the Capitol Police Traffic Regulations for the United States Capitol Grounds, which refers questions related to firearms to “Appendix J”. Appendix J is, unhelpfully, not included in the book, so if anyone knows where that might be found, please let me know in the comments.

I know some of our astute readers will immediately make the analogy to the case of David Gregory, who flagrantly violated DC’s magazine ban in furtherance of a gun control agenda, but this just isn’t the case. The Capitol Police are at least making reference to some sort of written exemption for a special privileged class of individuals; the David Gregory rule appears to be an unwritten bit of arbitrarily-applied law that states that anyone who is powerful, popular, wealthy, beautiful, or politically connected to the same can break byzantine and incomprehensible firearms laws with impunity.

In any event, Representatives Buck and Gowdy apparently won’t have to worry about spending any time in the DC klink for this. Good for them. Now, if only the rest of Americans enjoyed the same rights as their elected representatives.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice on this subject, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients. Especially the bit about the “David Gregory Rule” – that was pure satire, folks. Don’t cite that one in court.

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  1. The only thing dangerous here is that man’s tie. Jesus tap dancing Christ who let him out of the house dressed like that?

  2. 1. If I was in the biz of banning “aesthetics”, I would start with that suit, tie, and haircut on the left. Then maybe that painted rifle, but just for the paint.
    2. Poster missed the big difference in this and the Gregory cases. Gregory is a flaming Dem/liberal, of course he gets a pass. These guys are Repubs, and pretty conservative ones. If not for the written exemption, they would be in deep DC doodoo.

    • Except, I think, that the Republicans have a strong majority in the House, and Rep. Gowdy has some position thereof. If the Capital Police, etc., were to have arrested Rep. Buck, I would think it likely that they got their funding cut. Etc. I think this might have gone down differently under the reign of Speaker Pelosi.

    • Trey Gowdy’s couture and hair reminds me of a boss I once had, fellow from Kentucky. Bossman was north of 6 foot, around 275 and had an ugly porcelain front tooth that gave him extra hillbilly street-cred. He helped promote the illusion of dumbfounded mountain boy by dipping and spitting in an omnipresent coke can. Much to the chagrin of companies that had to negotiate with him, he was also north of 160 in the IQ department, a double major EE and ME, had a serious ability to craft contracts. Woe betide the salesman or vendor who assumed his outward appearance meant that they could put one over on him and lazily cut corners. He lived for that shit.

  3. “a special privileged class of individuals”

    “A law for thee, but not for me” still applies I see. So out of curiosity, are we second or third class citizens now. Or just plain subjects? Forgive me, I forget what they taught us in civics classes…

    • Yep. No bcg doesn’t change the ability of the weapon to function, specifically the lower receiver. Looks like an illegal magazine as we all.
      So long as our officials are exempted from the laws, the laws binding us will not bother them.

  4. I’m certain that I’ve seen the honorable Dianne Feinstein Democrat from the great state of California, holding a AR15/ M4, in many press conferences. Just saying.

    • Actually, it’s funny: I think there’s photos of her in the past with an AK in her hands, but the recent assault weapon push she made, all the guns were zip-tied to a board, and she POINTED. The key thing was, no one “took possession” so it was ok by the law. DC may have not had an AW ban when she initially took photos in the 90s (80s?)

  5. A reported tweet states (and the photo establishes) that there is no BCG in the rifle, which, the Representative reports, is at his home in Colorado. Also of note is that the report of this tweeted photo was made by a member of the press…’Nuff said.

    • What’s your point? It’s still a ridiculous law that let’s only certain people have privileges.

  6. You mean the same city attorney that refused to charge Gregory was lookin’ for blood on these two?

  7. The House and Senate office building are considered part of the US Capital hence DC regulations and laws do not apply.

  8. Hmm. Posting an obviously posed photo…cue “Capitol Ninja” anti OC rants…

    Or, is it “one rule for me, another for thee” even among our crowd?

    • The guy is awesome. I cannot wait until he gets the Hilldebeast under oath. Get a six-pack, and a pizza, and watch the fireworks. He makes it look so easy.

  9. These two could fix the issue by having the republican controlled House pass a resolution eliminating DC’s gun control, and then sending it over to the Senate to pass. The Congress is the governing body for DC. They don’t even need the signature of the president to pass legislation that only applies to DC.

    • Do they need 60 votes in the Senate? Because if not, I’m going to need an answer as to why it has not been done. What a trip, D.C. goes from a total ban to Constitutional carry in one day. Then roll up a copy of the bill and stick it Obama’s eye.

      • Stick it in Hillary’s — she’s the ‘heir apparent’

        (Can’t we find ANYONE fit for the presidency to stand as a candidate?)

  10. I have vague memories of seeing Schumer wave around a Tec-9 while hearing the testimony/questioning Tanya Metsaka of the NRA back when the AW ban was being debated.

    As I recall, he basically picked one up and asked her “Would anyone actually hunt with this?” and she replied “Sure, why not?”

    • I remember that — and thinking, “I wouldn’t hunt with it, but for going after prairie dogs, sure!”

  11. Johannes, I love your articles, but I really hate that I love them. I generally don’t trust things that are written by people unwilling to attach their real name.

    • Lots of people can’t make a career out of writing and might find that their own career (or at least job) could be endangered by using their own name on such articles…

    • So, Poor Richard is a no-go in your book, then?

      What’s really the big deal with someone not using their own name. That’s kind of like an ad hominem.

      The message is what matters; either you agree with what “Johannes” says or you don’t.

    • Absolutely right. Huckleberry Finn can’t be any good. A modest proposal was dreck. No one should read anything by Dalton Fury or Marc Bissonnette to hear about how real operators operate.

      It’s not like we’re reading an article about how those in power were going to punish and go after someone who disagrees with them, only to be stopped in the nick of time by a good law.

      Clearly no one should be able to have anonymity. I refuse to read anything by Leonard and Bernstein because “Deepthroat” didn’t have the stones to out himself when Nixon was in office.

    • – Hannibal- I understand it, but When I go to a place to get accurate information, I like being able to research the person. Especially when person is a lawyer. In JP’s Case am sure he was vetted by RF, but it just makes me a little uncomfortable.

      – JR- I do agree with the message, but as above I like to know where I’m gettign information from especially if source states they are professional in field.

      – Marco- See above responses. I can see the need, it is just a personal preference on my part. As I stated before I do read and enjoy his articles, so it isn’t an automatic thing,
      I take into account reasons possible. For example his articles on here could hurt his career etc. Haven’t read too many articles by Firearms Concierge, but I think he keeps his name private too if I remember. Does it bother me, yeah, enough to not read article, no. Part of it is because it is on this Website, so I’m willing to let some of it go. And there is a difference in my opinion in writing an internet article about guns, and whistleblowing.

      – Johannes Paulsen- I look forward to the post/Article!

  12. But how do you get it on the grounds of the capitol without taking it through DC metro’s turf?

  13. A city shouldn’t have an Attorney General and the punk should be arrested for impersonating a public official.

  14. Republican congressman does something iffy with guns: DA referred it to police for investigation.

    David Gregory does something obviously illegal after being told not to: DA declines to prosecute.

    There’s a huge difference here. One is a Republican and the other is a Democrat.

  15. When I first saw this picture I seriously thought Gowdy was some intern that had no clue how to dress. It’s well beyond time to retire that wardrobe and go shopping.

  16. WTF? Who cares about Gowdy’s suit? Are we a bunch of teen girls here?!? He could wear a luchador costume for all I care. I want to see him call in these DC gun ninnies to testify before him and pile drive them into oblivion.

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