A newly-elected congresswoman has inquired with Capitol Police about the legality of carrying her signature accessory with her when she takes her seat in congress.
According to the Associated Press, Republican Lauren Boebert, 33, who was just elected to represent the conservative 3rd district of Colorado, asked about what rules are in place for carrying a gun on the Capitol Grounds.
She is an ardent supporter of the 2nd-Amendment and even owns a gun themed restaurant caller Shooters Grill. She became famous in media circles for wearing a Glock on her hip during campaign events and it appears she might want to do the same when she gets to DC.
The inqury was made off the record but she has been asked it by the press. Her office responded that if she decides to carry she won’t be alone in that decision.
“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.
According to Capitol Police, there is no requirement for members of congress to notify them if they are carrying a weapon and they have declined to answer when inquired by Democrats back in 2018 as to how many members of congress carry.
“There is no standing requirement” that lawmakers notify them when they carry a firearm in the Capitol, the officials wrote. Regulations require safe storage of weapons, but “that responsibility resides with the Member,” they said.
Current regulations exempt members of Congress from DC gun laws thanks to a 1967 statute. That states that no federal or District of Columbia laws “shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of his office” or “from transporting within Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
The regulation does prohibit them from carrying firearms House chamber and other nearby areas but aids can carry the congressperson’s weapons according to a brief written by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif, who tried to do away with the regulation back in 2018. Huffman has been stymied by Republicans and has abandoned the issues but plans to bring it up again.
Republicans cite the shooting and wounding of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and four other people as they practiced baseball back in 2017 as justification for maintaining the status quo.
“As soon as you leave the Capitol property, you are a target,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., chairman of the House Second Amendment Caucus.
Members of Congress have voiced support for Congresswoman Boebert. Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga said, “Not only do I support members of Congress carrying a firearm, I believe every American has that right.”