If she gets office on Jan. 3, she's likely to join a growing group of legislators packing heat.
Washington now permits for residents and nonresidents to appeal for covered carry permits after the D.C. Court of Appeals directed in Wrenn v. District of Columbia in July 2017 that petitioners no longer needed to show a “good reason” to get a concealed carry license.
The gun-control supporters did not appeal the D.C. permit case to the Supreme Court out of concern the high court would decide in favor of the defendants looking to grow the carry rights across the country.
“They thought they would lose, and then the whole United States would become ‘shall issue’ instead of just Washington, D.C. So, Washington, D.C., is ‘shall issue.’ That's a recent phenomenon. It's happened in the last four years,” Massie said.
The Kentucky Republican said that when he first came to Washington in 2012, carrying concealed was still banned, but not for a member of Congress in the Capitol, which made for an incoherent policy.
“When I was first elected to Congress, I inquired with the sergeant-at-arms about carrying. But at that time, it wasn't legal in Washington, D.C.
The sergeant-at-arms discouraged it," Massie said. "They were not real supportive of the idea eight years ago because if you're following D.C. law, how would you get the gun to your office?” Massie said.
“Clearly, the law allowed you to have a gun in your office, but how would you get it to your office if it was illegal in D.C.? Your office borders D.C., but that problem was solved a few years ago with the court ruling.”
Two years ago, Democratic California Rep. Jared Huffman was dismayed when he learned about a half-century-old Capitol Hill provision that permits legislators to keep guns in their offices as well as carry around the Capitol complex. The Northern California lawmaker tried to revert the ruling.
However, guns are prohibited in parliamentary offices and nearby areas, not including the sergeants-at-arms.
That's an extremely different situation from the 19th century when legislators carrying guns was a fairly regular occurrence.