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Guns No Longer Allowed For Pa. House Security Guards

(The dome of the Pennsylvania state capitol, in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The dome of the Pennsylvania state capitol, in Harrisburg. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The security detail that guards the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is no longer carrying guns.

The security guards for the state Senate do not carry firearms, and the House security guards didn’t either, until a few years ago.

Now, the House guards have been disarmed after it was learned that one member of the detail had concealed a criminal record.

But in the final analysis, says Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House speaker Sam Smith, having armed sergeants-at-arms for the House is somewhat redundant.

“The capitol is already protected by the Capitol Police — an armed police organization,” Miskin tells KYW Newsradio.  “And then the House and Senate have separate sergeants-at-arms, or security details, to protect the chambers and obviously the members.”

And Miskin says all those security personnel are in constant communication, and there’s no need for another armed security detail.

The practice of arming House guards began during the tenure of the previous speaker, John Perzel.

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