After the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson on Saturday, the question of permanent security changes falls to the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. Capitol Police. No police or security detail were at the Giffords event at a Tucson grocery store. At such events, there's never security unless there's advance intelligence that there may be a problem of some kind, and Giffords reportedly often attends as many as eight events in a single day.
The lack of security is not out of the norm. Members of the House and Senate leadership have security provided by Capitol Hill, but many don't receive a constant security detail. They can, however, request security if there are safety concerns.
Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., the ranking Democrat on the committee, pledged to introduce a bill making threats against members of Congress or a federal judge the same as a threat against the president, says a USA Today report.