RULES BROKEN: Legislators Bring Guns To Capitol

Two Iowa State Senators admit they have brought guns into the state Capitol even though it’s against the rules.

“I do. I do have a firearm with me and I will defend myself if someone attacks me,” expalined Urbandale Senator Brad Zaun (R).

State Senator Joni Ernst’s (R) campaign says she has too.

Legislators and other state employees can enter through different doors than the general public, so they don’t have to go through security and metal detectors like everyone else. But Zaun says, if he can bring a gun past security, so can other people who may have more dangerous intentions.

“It’s a false sense of security and there is a flaw,” Zaun said. “Listen, we recognize that there are a lot of people that are disturbed out there.  And if you’re a public servant, I’ve gotten threats before.”

Iowa State Patrol Captain Mark Logston oversees security at the Capitol.  He says the measures in place protect workers and the public. “I think with anything in life there could always be some improvements but I feel very satisfied every day that I come to work that the resources and the measures that we take are there to keep the public and employees safe,” Logston said.

According to Iowa code, bringing a gun into the Capitol is a simple misdemeanor and could result in a person being banned from the building or even facing criminal charges.  But Iowa State Patrol says they are not aware of anyone being charged criminally for bringing a gun into the Capitol.

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