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4 Pa. Code § 86.4. Policy governing the interior public areas of the Capitol Complex.

§ 86.4. Policy governing the interior public areas of the Capitol Complex.

 In its administration, operation and preservation of the Capitol Complex, the policy of the Department relating to the public use of the interior public areas of the Capitol Complex will be as stated in this section.

   (1)  Visitor entrances. Except as provided in this section, visitors (including infants and small children) will be required to enter at the designated visitor entrance for screening and pass through the metal detectors at the security-screening checkpoint. All packages, briefcases, handbags, backpacks, totes, containers and mail will be scanned by the X-ray machine.

   (2)  Electronic equipment. Electronic equipment/devices such as laptop computers, palm pilots, cell phones, pagers, video cameras, CD players, radios, and the like, should be screened using standard X-ray procedures.

     (i)   There will be a procedure for a visitor who requests a hand inspection.

     (ii)   The individual should be asked to remove the device from its carrying case.

     (iii)   The carrying case is to be X-rayed using standard X-ray procedures.

     (iv)   The visitor shall be asked to ‘‘power-up’’ the device and insure the device is operational and that the individual is familiar with the device.

     (v)   The exterior of the device will be checked for signs of tampering.

     (vi)   The weight of the device should feel accurate as to the type of device that it is.

     (vii)   There will be screening procedures for electronic equipment and camera screening.

   (3)  Registration. All visitors may be required to register and sign in at the designated visitor center and may receive a timed or disposable visitor badge issued by the Bureau of Police and Safety.

   (4)  Visitor rights. Visitors will have certain rights pertaining to the screening process.

     (i)   A visitor will have the right to refuse screening, which includes the visitor, the inspection of hand-carried items, the right to withdraw from screening of himself and hand-carried items.

     (ii)   A visitor who refuses screening or inspection of hand-carried items will have the right to withdraw unless an obvious threat has been identified.

     (iii)   If the visitor has exercised the right to withdraw and poses no threat, neither the individual nor any hand-carried item may enter the building.

   (5)  Exception for persons with pacemakers/defibrillators. If a visitor, vendor, lobbyist or member of the media desires to enter a building with screening and X-ray equipment, and states that he has a pacemaker or defibrillator and cannot go through the walk-through metal detector, the individual will be required to remain in full view of the officer and to present himself for hand-held metal detection. There will be appropriate equipment to conduct the screening.

   (6)  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C.A. § §  12101—12213) considerations. In accordance with the ADA, a security station will be established at the ADA accessible entrances and will have the same machinery, items and procedures as the nonaccessible entrances and will include a metal detection wand.

     (i)   The accessible route and entrance will have the appropriate ADA designated signs. Individuals with disabilities will be thoroughly screened as well.

     (ii)   Those performing screening functions will be required to exercise sensitivity to the individual’s physical condition.

     (iii)   If the individual is in a wheel chair and cannot be removed from the wheel chair, a same sex officer must conduct a whole-body pat-down search.

     (iv)   Permission must be obtained from the visitor before proceeding. If permission is denied, access may be denied.

     (v)   The wheelchair will be searched to insure that no weapons, contraband or explosive devices are concealed in any part of the chair.

     (vi)   Other hand-carried items should be screened using standard procedure.

   (7)  Guide dogs. Guide dogs will be required to pass through the metal detection equipment alone. The metal in a dog’s collar/harness may sound the metal detection alarm. The dog will be visually inspected.

   (8)  Hours of operation. Except as provided by paragraph (9), Capitol visiting hours for the public are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Saturdays, Sundays and State holidays. The Rotunda will be accessible to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and State holidays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. When either house of the General Assembly or a Legislative committee is in session prior to 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m., or on Saturday, Sunday or a State holiday, the Capitol will be open to the public with the commencement of the session and closed 2 hours after adjournment of the Senate, House of Representatives or Legislative committee. Public hours of operation for the other buildings within the Capitol Complex will be posted.

   (9)  Special events after public hours. In accordance with §  86.6 (relating to scheduling events and exhibits), the Secretary may schedule special events to occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. on weekends and Commonwealth holidays. Special events sponsored and conducted by an official or agency of the Commonwealth, including the General Assembly, for official governmental purposes may be open to the public in the discretion of the Commonwealth official or agency and the Secretary. A special event sponsored or conducted by a person or entity which is not an official or agency of the Commonwealth or which is not for official government purposes will not be open to the public. The Secretary will prescribe the conditions applicable to events scheduled after visiting hours.

   (10)  Emergencies. In case of fire, bomb threat, utility malfunction, structural failure, other unforeseen emergency, threat endangering public safety or health, or in the interest of maintaining the necessary level of security, the Secretary or Capitol Security may lock any or all buildings at any time and require that the entrances be used only as a means of egress. No person may enter or attempt to enter through an entrance which is closed due to emergency conditions until the emergency is over.

   (11)  Smoking. Smoking may be permitted in specifically designated areas.

   (12)  Alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages may not be served or consumed in any public area within the Capitol Complex, except with the express permission of the Secretary.

   (13)  Ingress and egress. An event or exhibit may not obstruct entrances or block traffic flow through the building.

   (14)  Furnishings. Moving furnishings, such as furniture, lighting and paintings, by the organizers, conductors or participants at an event or exhibit is not permitted without the permission of the Secretary.

   (15)  Movement of furniture. Tables, displays, chairs or other items may not be dragged or rolled on the floors of the Rotunda and the East Wing Rotunda.

   (16)  Commercial activities. No individual or organization may engage in commercial, retail or business activities, whether for profit or nonprofit purposes, including sales, negotiations, the taking of orders and the displaying of wares, without the express written permission of the Secretary.

   (17)  Certain signs prohibited. Due to the constricted space and crowded conditions which often prevail inside the public areas of the buildings within the Capitol Complex, signs on hand-sticks are a safety hazard to visitors and occupants. They are not allowed.

   (18)  Balloons. Helium balloons are not allowed in public areas of the buildings within the Capitol Complex.

   (19)  Food and beverages. Food and beverages may not be served in the public areas inside the buildings within the Capitol Complex without the approval of the Secretary. See §  86.3(7) (relating to policy governing the public areas of the Capitol Complex). Food and beverages may be consumed only in the area approved for an event or exhibit, or in the cafeteria area.

   (20)  Animals. Except as may be required in the course of State business, animals are not allowed in the public areas inside the buildings within the Capitol Complex. Guide dogs, however, may be used when necessary to assist persons with disabilities in the buildings within the Capitol Complex. The owner or person having the animal under his control is responsible for the animal.

   (21)  Additional policies for events and exhibits. Requests to hold an exhibit or event in the public areas inside the buildings of the Capitol Complex will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and meet the following criteria:

     (i)   Exhibits and events may not obstruct entrances, interrupt traffic flow through the building or disrupt Legislative sessions or the normal conduct of public business in the building.

     (ii)   Mounted materials, whether items of display or information related to displays, shall be secured to tripods, display panels or other freestanding devices. Panels, tripods and the like, when provided by the exhibitor, shall meet the approval of the Secretary.

   (22)  Capacity. The maximum capacity for each public area will be strictly enforced.

   (23)  Camping and sleeping prohibited. Camping or sleeping overnight in public areas of the Capitol or other buildings within the Capitol Complex is not allowed.


   The provisions of this §  86.4 amended September 6, 2002, effective September 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 4358. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (221071) to (221073).

Cross References

   This section cited in 4 Pa. Code §  86.3 (relating to policy governing the public areas of the Capitol Complex).

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