Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III warned Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert against packing her firearm on Capitol Hill Monday, after the freshman Colorado representative released an ad promising to do just that.
Let me tell you why I WILL carry my Glock to Congress.
Government does NOT get to tell me or my constituents how we are allowed to keep our families safe.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 4, 2021
“That Congresswoman will be subjected to the same penalties as anyone else that’s caught on the D.C. streets carrying a firearm,” Contee told reporters at a press conference when asked about the newly elected lawmaker’s plans.
According to Politico, lawmakers are exempt from the District’s strict prohibition on firearms as along as members keep their weapons unloaded and stored in their own offices. In her three-minute viral video, however, Boebert, whose gun-rights activism served as the catalyst for her political career, pledged to carry her gun outside the four walls of her Longworth office.
“I will carry my firearm in D.C., and in Congress,” Boebert said. “I walk to my office every morning by myself, so as a 5-foot-tall, 100-pound woman, I choose to protect myself legally, because I am my best security.”
The D.C. police chief said his office would be reaching out to Boebert regarding her intentions. An office spokesman for the Colorado congresswoman reassured The Federalist Boebert would follow the District’s guidelines but did not elaborate further.
“Congresswoman Boebert is a fierce advocate for the Second Amendment, as such she will comply with all applicable firearm laws and regulations,” the spokesman said.
According to the Washington Post, a spokesman said Boebert was not armed during the making of her video, contrary to what the ad’s intro implies. The District of Columbia does not recognize out-of-state concealed-carry licenses, and nonresidents such as Boebert must register their firearms with D.C. police.
A group of House Democrats launched an effort in December to ban lawmakers from carrying firearms after Boebert approached Capitol Police over the issue at new-member orientation. About two-dozen Democrats, the Hill reported, sought to overturn the local gun-law exemption for lawmakers provided by a 1967 regulation. The rules package proposed by Democrats, however, includes no such proposal to repeal the exemption.
While the Capitol Hill complex is fitted with armed officers protecting each building, security at the Capitol has been compromised before. In 1954, a group of Puerto Rican radicals stormed the House chamber and began shooting in an attack that ultimately injured five members, all of whom survived. Bullet holes can still be seen in the chamber today.