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United States Capitol Police

Protect and Secure Congress

Prohibited Items

To ensure the safety and security of the U.S. Capitol Complex, certain items are prohibited from being brought into the Capitol Buildings and Grounds. While this may be a small inconvenience, planning ahead by leaving these items at home will allow for an expeditious security screening process. Failure to adhere to these established regulations can result in arrest, fine and/or imprisonment, as well as the confiscation and/or destruction of the item.  This list is not intended to be all encompassing but to serve as a general guide for what is and is not allowed to be brought into the various buildings on the Capitol Grounds.

The United States Capitol Police thanks you in advance for your attention and adherence to these established regulations in order to maintain the safety of all who visit the U.S. Capitol Complex. We hope you have an enjoyable experience visiting the U.S. Capitol Complex.  

Except as otherwise noted, these prohibitions apply to both staff and members of the public.  Staff should display and wear their Congressional ID cards during the screening process.
 

Prohibited Items on the U.S. Capitol Grounds

    

  • Pursuant to the United States and District of Columbia Criminal Codes, firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, or incendiary devices are prohibited on U.S. Capitol Grounds.
  • Federal law prohibits flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems, such as drones, anywhere in the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Capitol Grounds are designated as a NO DRONE ZONE.
     

Prohibited Items in the U.S. Capitol & U.S. Capitol Visitor Center 

             

  • Bags exceeding the size of 18” wide x 14” high x 8.5” deep.
  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition.
  • Weapons (to include but not limited to):  Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives of any size including razors and box cutters, martial arts weapons or devices.  Staff may possess knives with blades 3" or less.
  • Pointed objects to include but not limited to knitting needles, letter openers, and other pointed objects deemed a possible threat. Pens and pencils are permitted.  This restriction does not apply to staff. 
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include, but not limited to, Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks.
  • Mace and pepper spray.
  • Liquid of any kind, including water and other beverages.  This restriction does not apply to staff.
  • Food of any kind, including fruit and unopened packaged food.  This restriction does not apply to staff.
  • Aerosol containers.
  • Non-Aerosol spray except for prescribed medical needs.
  • Sealed envelopes and packages.  This restriction does not apply to staff. (Please see Couriers & Packages for more information)


Prohibited Items in the Senate Office Buildings, House Office Buildings, and Library of Congress Buildings

   

  • Bags exceeding the size of 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep.
  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition.
  • Weapons (to include but not limited to):  Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (with blades longer than 3”), razors, box cutters, martial arts weapons or devices.  Knives with blades 3" or less are permitted.
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include, but not limited to, Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks.
  • Pointed objects to include, but not limited to, knitting needles, letter openers, or other pointed objects deemed a possible threat. Pens and pencils are permitted. This restriction does not apply to staff.
  • Sealed envelopes and packages. This restriction does not apply to staff. (Please see Couriers & Packages for more information)


Prohibited Items in the House and Senate Galleries

            

  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition. 
  • Weapons, to include, but not limited to, Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives of any size including razors and box cutters, martial arts weapons or devices.
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include, but not limited to, Molotov Cocktails, components of a destructive device, and fireworks.
  • Mace and pepper spray.
  • Aerosol containers.
  • Non-Aerosol spray except for prescribed medical needs.
  • Battery operated electronic devices to include cellular telephones, electronic keys, cameras, video recorders or any type of recording devices. Electronic medical devices are permitted.
  • Cans, bottles, food, and food containers, including all liquids.
  • Creams, lotions, and perfume.
  • Strollers.
  • Briefcases, backpacks, and suitcases of any size.