Congress makes the laws – and, in the process of doing so, they frequently exempt themselves, as was discovered following this tweet from Congressman Ken Buck:
Also featured in this picture is Congressman Trey Cowdy (R-SC), who is leading the House’s investigation into Benghazi. The picture features the Congressmen with an AR-15, which is an assault rifle.
Why is this a problem? Because, as noted by The Hill, assault weapons cannot be legally possessed within the District of Columbia, and this picture was taken inside of the Capitol complex.
In a conversation with The Hill, Congressman Buck stated that he had permission from the U.S. Capitol Police to have the AR-15 in his office. He added:
“I have a very patriotic AR-15 hanging in my office. It hangs directly above my Second Amendment flag. While safety protocols call for all guns to be treated as if they are loaded, this one isn’t. Further, a close inspection of the only public photo of the rifle will show that the bolt carrier assembly is not in the rifle; it is in fact in Colorado. It is a beautiful, patriotic paper weight.”
Washington D.C. authorities, however, saw the issue (slightly) differently, and investigated the issue. However, believe it or not, Congressman are exempt from laws that prohibit them from possessing assault weapons in Washington D.C. Accordingly, Congressman Buck broke no laws.
Incidentally – and not surprisingly – Congressman Buck is fundraising off the issue, sending out an Email in which he says that, “Anti-Gun Liberals are leading a full attack against Trey Gowdy and me over the picture taken above.”
From a purely political perspective, Congressman Buck got a win here. He got to attack “anti gun liberals” and probably raised money off of the issue. So, a potential liability turns into a positive. A strange situation, to say the least.