Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who is quickly gaining prominence as a member of Congress who plans to carry her gun on Capitol Hill, says she's aware of the District of Columbia's strict firearms laws and has abided by them.
Boebert, on Tuesday, in a television interview, sought to make Washington’s Metropolitan Chief of Police Robert Contee aware that she knows the District’s firearm laws after he said he wanted to discuss the issue with her. Boebert, who took office Sunday representing Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, says she previously passed D.C.’s required concealed carry firearm courses.
“I will have and will be able to carry here in Washington, D.C., so this is something that I am well ahead on,” Boebert told Fox and Friends Tuesday morning.
Boebert last year beat a 10-year incumbent Scott Tipton in the Republican primary and easily won the general election in her Western Colorado district. She's the owner of Shooters Grill, a Rifle, Colorado, restaurant where staff members are encouraged to openly carry firearms.
“What I will say to that is there are no exceptions in the District of Columbia, with the exception of being able to carry on U.S. Capitol Police property,” he said. “We plan to reach out to the congresswoman’s office to make sure that she is aware what the laws of the District of Columbia are, what the restrictions are.”
Boebert, Contee said, "Will be subjected to the same penalties for anyone else that’s caught on a District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully.”
Boebert responded that she is well-informed about District gun laws.
“I have gone through the concealed carry courses that Washington, D.C., requires to obtain a concealed carry permit, and I think it's very interesting that he wants to ensure that I understand Washington, D.C., firearm laws,” she said. “Maybe I should make a video announcing that I plan to drive a car in Washington, D.C., and then the chief of police will say that he's going to inform me of Washington, D.C., traffic laws. Is this what he does with everyone who comes to the District of Columbia and for each and every person? I don't think so.”
Washington now allows for residents and nonresidents to apply for concealed carry permits after the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in Wrenn v. District of Columbia in July 2017 that applicants no longer needed to prove to have a “good reason” to have a concealed carry permit.
All applicants must sit through and pass a certified in-person course, show proficiency with a concealable firearm through a range test, as well as pass a background check after all required paperwork is filed at the Metropolitan Police Department. D.C. residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply.
Only members of Congress and law enforcement are allowed to carry concealed in the Capitol complex. However, firearms are banned in legislative chambers and adjacent areas, not including the sergeants-at-arms.
Prior to the court ruling, gun-toting members such as Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus, pointed to the difficulty lawmakers had who wanted to carry on the Capitol grounds.
“Clearly, the law allowed you to have a gun in your office, but how would you get it to your office if it was illegal in D.C.? Your office borders D.C., but that problem was solved a few years ago with the court ruling,” he told the Washington Examiner.
Two years ago, Democratic California Rep. Jared Huffman was shocked to learn about a half-century-old Capitol Hill provision that allows lawmakers to keep firearms in their offices as well as carry around the Capitol complex. The Northern California lawmaker attempted to no avail to repeal the regulation.
Democratic lawmakers attempted to roll back the regulation again this Congress, which prompted a letter of 82 lawmakers spearheaded by Massie and Boebert to Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding her to reject the effort.