Washington (CNN) – Despite their attempts, Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz won't bring firearms to Wednesday's hearing on gun control after an unsuccessful attempt at appealing the security rules on Capitol Hill.
"We have not been able to navigate all the red tape and bureaucracy necessary to bring them into the hearing," Graham's spokesman Kevin Bishop told CNN. Wednesday's event, held in the Hart Senate Office Building, is the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the Connecticut school massacre that left 26 people dead.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, will be one of five witnesses at the hearing, along with former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.
While Bishop, Graham's spokesman, said no one explicitly told the senators they couldn't bring the weapons in, he pointed to bureaucratic hurdles that prevent lawmakers from bringing guns to hearings. One of those is an assault weapon ban in the District of Columbia.
Instead, Bishop said Graham would use posters and photos of firearms at the hearing in place of the real thing
They also sent a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, requesting measures to help streamline the procedures to bring guns into the hearings in the future.
At an event last week announcing her proposed ban on assault weapons, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California stood in front of a display of weapons, some of which are currently against the law in the District of Columbia. Democratic sources told CNN that Feinstein coordinated with police on being able to have the guns there.
On one side were pegboard panels mounted with various assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons - including a Bushmaster similar to the one used in last month's Newtown school massacre.