Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Reminder to Sen. Webb: You Can’t Carry in DC

As this Washington Post article explains, it’s legal for Senators/Representatives (and their designees) to carry a gun in the Capitol.  However, it is not legal to carry that gun anywhere in the District.  I understand Sen. Webb’s demurring on answering on whether he’s carried a gun in the District in the past (even if it was with some incredibly lame invocation of 9/11).  He may need to be reminded, though, that he’s not above the law – he has no business carrying a gun from Virginia to the Capitol on a daily basis.  It’s against the law, and it would get me, you, and pretty much anyone else arrested.   Don’t like it?  Fine, work with the District to rework the law.  But until then, respect it.


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It’s not enough, Matthew Dowd.


  1. I ask Webb, via his Senate web contact form, if he complied with DC’s gun laws. I’ll let you know what, if any, response I get.

    I don’t think it is too much to ask our elected officials to respect the law.

  2. I’m not sure he’s actually stated that he has carried in DC. He said he has never carried a weapon in the “Capitol Complex”. He does have a right as a Senator to carry a concealed weapon in his offices, although not onto the Senate floor, and there is the implication by that law that he could transport the weapon to his offices even though it’s not specifically spelled out, but it sounds as if any carrying he did in this particular case all occurred in Virginia. The problem is whether he handed off his weapon to someone else when he went to the airport on Friday, or whether he locked it in the briefcase and did not mention it to Phillip Thompson, or whether he told Phillip but Phillip didn’t hear him, or whatever. Too many questions.

    Alice, I don’t think you’re going to get a response, and if you do it won’t be until after the court case has been decided. Until then I don’t think anyone from Webb’s office is going to say anything about guns.

  3. Dannyboy

    I hope Jim Webb DOES fight that law in Washington. It’s unconstitutional.

  4. MB

    Thank you for your lawyering, Dannyboy. It’s not exactly a settled question. In any event, did you know that if a good number of the states had exactly those laws, it WOULD be constitutional?

    Further, for all of those all of a sudden so concerned with the constitutional rights of those in the District – please contact your Representative and tell them to support the bill granting DC citizens a seat in the House. Your concern for the Constitution will ring little less hollow after that.

  5. Dannyboy

    I don’t pretend to be a lawyer. But the way the Second Amendment is currently interpreted, I say you could make a very strong case that such a law is unconstitutional.

  6. MB

    Care to make it?

  7. You may be able to make an argument that not allowing gun ownership of any kind is unconstitutional, but the fact is that the Supreme Court has already ruled that limitations on gun ownership and gun use are appropriate and constitutional. The case law dates back decades. Moreover, the Court never holds that any right is absolute. There are always restrictions to rights. Under First Amendment law one is not allowed to cry fire in a crowded theater due to competing societal interests in safety and public order. The same with carry limitations. Not many people would argue that guns should be allowed in any forum whatsoever. These are the type of “time, place and manner” restrictions found in much constitutional analysis.

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