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The Secret Service has posted signs at the White House notifying visitors that they cannot bring weapons onto the grounds, stating, "WARNING: Weapons Prohibited."
USA Today reports that the signs went up outside the guard shacks that have metal detectors around the time of a winter storm last month that closed down much of the federal government for several days.
"The signs were put up literally because we have to by law," David Iacovetti, the Secret Service's deputy assistant director of public affairs, told the newspaper.
"The only way we can search somebody and have those charges stick is [to] have the sign posted," he said, adding the signs were installed on the advice of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
Neither the Secret Service nor Justice Department could explain how the White House complex went 28 years without the signs following a 1988 law requiring them, but officials said it hadn't affected the prosecution of those threatening the area, according to USA Today.
The signs include the relevant section of the federal criminal code barring firearms and dangerous weapons from federal facilities, where notice must "be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility."