In response to the horrifying US Capitol attacks when a mob breached the Capitol during last week's violent riots, Congress on January 12 implemented new safety measures and stepped up security. Magnetometers have been installed outside the House floor for the first time and the House Sergeant-at-Arms office has announced that all persons, including members, are required to undergo security screening when entering the building. In a memo, Timothy Blodgett said that failure to complete screening or carrying prohibited items could result in "denial of access to the Chamber".
According to Lancaster Online, metal detectors were erected outside the Chamber on the second floor of the Capitol, where House members are usually able to move freely. Magnetometers will scan staff, visitors, media and all other entrants at every single external door of the Capitol and office buildings. The latest measures come after Capitol erupted into chaos last week, leaving the nation concerned over the security failures.
The additional security also comes after three freshman GOP lawmakers, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia intended to carry their firearms wherever they please. However, in the memo, Blodgett reminded members that firearms are restricted to a member office. It is worth noting that a 1967 regulation exempts members of Congress from a federal law banning firearms on the Capitol grounds. The weapons are still prohibited on the floor.
Meanwhile, US Federal investigators are following thousands of leads to not only prevent any potential eruption of violence but also to prosecute the rioters involved in last week’s Capitol siege. According to the CNN report, FBI has opened at least 160 case files in just a matter of six days since the outgoing US President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building. However, officials have revealed that the evidence gathered is “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Earlier on January 10, the FBI even released pictures seeking information to help identify individuals responsible for creating nuisance in the capitol building during the riots. They have launched a nationwide manhunt for the suspects captured on camera. The FBI has even cautioned of planned armed protests across all 50 state capitals and in Washington ahead of US President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.