Today’s announcement that metal detectors will now be used to ensure that guns are not brought onto the floor of the U.S. House spotlights U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (D-CO) request last year that U.S. Capitol Police provide her with access to a locker to store her gun while she’s on the House floor.
The Capitol Police denied Boebert’s request, and Boebert hasn’t said what she would do with her gun without a locker available.
“Okay, so what am I supposed to do?” asked Boebert said on Denver’s KNUS radio in November (Listen here.) “Am I supposed to put my firearm on the ground with a sticky note that says, ‘Please don’t touch. I’m going in here to vote, be right back?’ You know, if I’m going to be disarmed at this point, I need a way to store my firearm.”
Capitol regulations state that the “responsibility resides with the member” to store their weapons safely according to a report by the Associated Press, quoting 2018 statements from the Capitol Police.
In the past, Capitol Police have not checked to make sure lawmakers aren’t walking onto the House chamber with their guns, according to a former member of Congress quoted by the AP. Neither have they monitored where lawmakers carry guns elsewhere in Capitol.
In fact, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) told the Smoky Mountain News last week that he was armed as the mob entered the Capitol, adding that this would have allowed him to protect himself and others during the crisis.
With the metal detectors in place, what will Boebert do?
Before last week’s riot, Boebert had told Colorado Public Radio that she “wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some sort of push for an amendment to the rules to allow members to carry on the House floor.”
The presence of the metal detectors, first reported by CNN, came after freshman lawmakers, including Boebert and Crawford, insisted on bringing firearms to the Capitol and possibly the House floor.
Boebert’s office didn’t return a call for comment on where she plans to store her gun and where she plans to carry it at the Capitol. Also unanswered is the question of whether Boebert still expects Republicans to push to allow guns on the House floor.