Washington’s police chief on Monday warned Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) that she is subject to the District of Columbia’s laws while carrying a weapon, apart from an exception that enables her to carry legally to the U.S. Capitol complex.
“There are no exceptions in the District of Columbia, as you mentioned, with the exception of being able to carry on U.S. Capitol Police property. For the District of Columbia, we plan to reach out to the congresswoman’s office to make sure that she is aware of what the laws of the District of Columbia are, what the restrictions are,” Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III told reporters during a press conference, when asked about Boebert’s plans.
“And that congresswoman, whoever it is, I guess was from Colorado, you know, would be subjected to the same penalties for anyone else that’s caught on a District of Columbia street carrying a firearm—unlawfully, I might add,” he added.
In an emailed statement, Boebert’s office told The Epoch Times, “Congresswoman Boebert is a fierce advocate for the Second Amendment, as such she will comply with all applicable firearm laws and regulations.”
Boebert has said for weeks she planned to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, saying a weapon would help her protect herself.
In a new video featuring the representative, Boebert is seen holstering her weapon and walking on the street in Washington.
“Even though I now work in one of the most liberal cities in America, I refuse to give up my rights—especially my Second Amendment rights,” she says. “I will carry my firearm in D.C. and in Congress.”
Boebert, who owned a restaurant where servers carried guns before running for office, cited the high crime rate in the city and said she’d be walking to work every morning by herself.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, told reporters that “this is serious business.”
“We should all take very seriously an American’s ability to exercise his or her First Amendment rights, and we do. But we also have to know that we have a serious threat to our democracy right now,” she said, referring to planned protests this week. Officials on Monday revealed the National Guard was activated to help support police during the protests, which will take place as Congress counts electoral votes.
Over a dozen Democratic lawmakers last month wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), asking that the exception allowing members of Congress to carry on Capitol grounds be abolished.
“Ultimately, the current regulations create needless risk for members of Congress, their staff, members of the Capitol Police, and visitors to the Capitol grounds,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.