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House approves fines of up to $10K for evading Capitol metal detectors

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The House approved new rules that would levy fines of up to $10,000 on lawmakers who evade metal detectors and security screening put in place after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in which an armed mob threatened congressional members and five people died

Lawmakers violating the rule would face a fine of $5,000 and $10,000 for a second offense.

Lawmakers can appeal the fines through the House Ethics Committee.

The metal detectors were put in place in the Capitol after a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters pushed through law enforcement officers to enter the building, made their way to the Senate floor, ransacked congressional offices and sent lawmakers scurrying for safety in hidden locations.

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Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died because of his injuries received in defending the building.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admonished lawmakers who refused to walk through the metal detectors.

“We all have a solemn responsibility to honor the service and sacrifice of the Capitol Police for the valor that they showed that harrowing day. Yet, just days after the assault, many House Republicans began disrespecting our heroes by refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community safe – including by dodging metal detectors, physically pushing past police, and even attempting to bring firearms into the chamber,” she said in the statement.

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“It is beyond comprehension why any Member would refuse to adhere to these simple, commonsense steps to keep this body safe.  It is sad that we have been forced to move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections,” she continued.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks through a metal detector before entering the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks through a metal detector before entering the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

T​he measure was introduced after several pro-gun lawmakers, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), complained after she was blocked from entering the Capitol after she set off the metal detectors.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex​,” tweeted Boebert, who argued that she should be able to carry her Glock into the chamber.

She went on to say the security measures wouldn’t have stopped the violence during the Capitol attack, and called the security precautions “another political stunt” by Pelosi.

Under Capitol Police regulations, lawmakers can store guns in their offices and are allowed to carry them around the Capitol Complex if the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped.

Washington, DC, also has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

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