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New Colorado Representative Wants to Wear Her Glock Around the Capitol

When they visit Washington, D.C., for their freshman orientation most newly elected Members of Congress are focused on learning their way around the Capitol complex, seeing where their office will be, finding a place to live. Republican Lauren Boebert, who was just elected to represent a mostly conservative massive western Colorado district, had something else on her mind: can I wear my Glock pistol while strolling around the Capitol grounds?

Boebert and her husband are the owners of the gun-themed Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., where she and the waitstaff all openly carry firearms while serving dishes called “Guac 9” and “Ballistic Chicken.” Boebert also campaigned a Glock pistol strapped to her hip.

She defeated five-term GOP incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton, largely because she said he wasn’t an ardent enough supporter of Donald Trump, who endorsed her candidacy. Boebert gained publicity earlier this year when she briefly defied coronavirus-related public health orders by opening her restaurant.

While it’s illegal for the general public to possess a firearm on Capitol Hill, it’s perfectly legal for Members of Congress to carry weapons there under a law passed in 1967. One lawmaker, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) has tried unsuccessfully to get that measure changed. Huffman said the loophole for lawmakers, adopted after a summer of racial unrest in American cities, is outdated and risky.

He said members and their staffs carry firearms around the Capitol “all the time.” While he didn’t name names, Huffman said lawmakers keep guns in their publicly accessible offices, although entry into the building has been limited since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. They are under no obligation to notify Capitol Police when they carry a firearm in the Capitol.

“Members could have a loaded AK-47 sitting on their desk and no one would ever do anything about it,” Huffman said.



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