A Colorado congresswoman-elect, and pro-second amendment activist who straps a Glock to her hip, is looking to bring her weapon on Capitol grounds when she takes office in January.
Lauren Boebert has asked Capitol Police about packing heat in the House, a practice that’s allowed for lawmakers, with some limitations, under congressional regulations.
The 33-year-old conservative, who runs a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill in the small community of Rifle, allegedly made the request when she and other newly elected House members were recently in Washington, DC for orientation programs, two congressional officials told The Associated Press.
Both officials, a Democrat and a Republican, requested anonymity.
Boebert’s spokeswoman acknowledged the firearms request but didn’t make her available for an interview.
“This was a private discussion and inquiry about what the rules are, and as a result the Congresswoman-Elect won’t be going on the record,” Boebert aide Laura Carno said in an email last week.
The gun enthusiast was elected this month after upsetting five-term Rep. Scott Tipton for the GOP nomination in June — in part by accusing him of not being an ardent enough backer of President Trump.
Trump endorsed Boebert as a “fighter” who will “never bow down to the establishment in Congress.”
In 2018, Capitol Police officials dodged a question by Democrats on the House Committee on Administration about how many lawmakers carry firearms in the Capitol.
In a written response, the Capitol Police said they’ve “been made aware” of inquiries about carrying weapons and said there was “no standing requirement” that legislators notify them when they do.
The officials said regulations require safe storage of weapons but “that responsibility resides with the Member.”
A 1967 regulation says no federal or District of Columbia laws restricting firearms “shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of this office” or “from transporting within Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
Pols are prohibited from bringing weapons into the House chamber and other nearby areas, the regulations says, according to a letter from Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) in 2018. He said aides can carry lawmakers’ weapons for them on the Capitol complex.
Huffman tried to ban the practice in 2018 but gave up following opposition from colleagues. He said he wouldn’t make the effort again this year due to continued resistance — but said the loophole was outdated and that no one checks to make sure guns aren’t brought on the House floor.
“Members could have a loaded AK47 sitting on their desk and no one would ever do anything about it,” Huffman told the AP, adding that lawmakers and staffers carry firearms around the Capitol “all the time.”
But Boebert has plenty of backing from her own party.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) noted the shooting spree in 2017 that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others wounded during baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
“As soon as you leave the Capitol property, you are a target,” Massie told the AP.
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene also said she supported Boebert’s right to carry.
“Not only do I support members of Congress carrying a firearm, I believe every American has that right,” Greene said in a statement. “I will work every day to end ALL gun free zones.”
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