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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced severe fines, $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second for House members who avoid metal detectors. These detectors were set up at entrances in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. The fines were threatened after several Republican lawmakers refused to go through the detectors.
Pelosi alleged that Republicans "disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them" and that these members have been "refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe."
Pursuant to the United States and District of Columbia Criminal codes, firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or incendiary devices are prohibited on US Capitol Grounds.
Multiple GOP House members have avoided the machines since their installation. Some consider the restrictions an infringement on their Second Amendment rights. Some worry about their personal protection after the attack. Others consider it their duty to protect the chamber.
Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon told The Daily Caller after the attack that several Texas freshmen congressmen stayed behind to defend the House chamber as rioters stormed the Capitol. In a Facebook post Fallon wrote, "I JUST SAW COURAGE PERSONIFIED!!"
"We were in the middle of debate when the Capitol Police came into the chamber and told us there had been a breach in the Capitol Building. At first they wanted us to remain in our seats in the House Chamber. The breach must have gotten worse because they started to evacuate," Fallon wrote.
"Then the mob literally reached the doors of the House Chamber and the Police were short handed and I AM SO PROUD that Rep Tony Gonzalez, Rep Ronny Jackson, Rep Troy Nehls didn't hesitate!!! We augmented the Police and stood our ground! We will never be intimated by any mob, regardless of their motivations."
"The mob reached the actual doors to the House Chamber and there was visible concern on everyone’s faces and yet we stood our ground," Fallon said.
"Tony Gonzalez and Troy Nehls were literally on the front lines with myself and Admiral Jackson directly behind them and beside Rep Mark Wayne Mullin (who promised he’d be the last person to leave-standing guard while other members, both Democrats & Republicans were being evacuated to safety) and Ken Buck from CO was there as well. We broke off furniture to make clubs to defend the US House of Representatives."
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) argued that the fines are a violation of the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which states: "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."
"I will not be put in that situation again" Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) told WJCL after the attack and said if she gets a permit and can legally carry a firearm at the Capitol, she will.
Even before the attack newly elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) posted a video to Twitter that showed her conceal carrying a gun while walking the streets of DC "I will carry my Glock to Congress, she said."
Pelosi threatened members with a $5,000 fine the first time they evade the metal detectors and $10,000 for the second, with the fees being "deducted directly from House members’ salaries."
"It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People's House must and will be safe," Pelosi concluded.