Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) purposely bypassed the newly-installed magnetometers at the entry to the U.S. Capitol on two occasions — and given new rules in place thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), he’s facing a whopping $15,000 fine.
However, according to Fox News, Clyde — who happens to be the owner of a Georgia gun store — is perfectly happy with the fines. As a matter of fact, he revealed that he bypassed the new rules in the hopes of being hit with the fine so that it would afford him legal standing to sue Pelosi, Capitol Police, and the House Sergeant at Arms in federal court.
Taking one for the team
The Georgia lawmaker held nothing back as he told Fox News that he was hoping he would be fined for his actions, because if he loses his appeal to the House Ethics Committee, he’ll have the legal option to take the three aforementioned people and groups to federal court.
“That’s OK,” Clyde said, referring to the $15,000 fine. “I’m good with the taking a hit for the team. But we’re going to win on this and we’re going to have House Resolution 73 declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional.”
House Resolution 73 was put into place by Pelosi and Democrats following the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, ostensibly to prevent lawmakers from bringing weapons onto the chamber floor. The measure allows for members of Congress to be fined for purposely bypassing the new magnetometers at the entrance to the Capitol, including a $5,000 fine for a first-time offense and a $10,000 fine for each subsequent offense.
“People have to stand for the Constitution. And if I have to get fined in order to give me a legal standing to do that then I’ll be fined,” Clyde told Fox, adding that he’s already “teed up” to take the legal route of launching a lawsuit.
Assuming they’ve obtained the appropriate permit issued by Washington, D.C., members of Congress are allowed to carry a firearm around the Capitol complex, barring specific areas like the Speaker’s Lobby, the Rayburn Room, the House floor, and the cloakroom.
Second Amendment under attack
The Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol proved to be a dividing point between the two parties on the topic of Second Amendment rights. Some Democrats argued that members of Congress should not be able to carry a firearm anywhere on the Capitol complex.
Republicans, like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) — a staunch Second Amendment supporter — meanwhile argued that the riots were a perfect example of why members of Congress should be afforded the legal right to carry anywhere in or around the Capitol.
“If this isn’t a reason to be able to defend yourself, then I don’t know what it is,” Boebert told Fox News following the tragic events that took place on Jan. 6.
Clyde’s ultimate goal in filing suit in federal court is to completely scrap H.R. 73, which would pave the way for him and fellow gun owners in Congress to carry wherever and whenever they want, in the name of having the capability to defend others if — Heaven forbid — another riot situation ever unfolded.
Only time will tell if Clyde is able to accomplish that mission, but even if he doesn’t, the resolution could still soon meet its end if Republicans manage to win back majority control in the House next year.