The police chief in Washington, D.C., said Monday that his office will contact U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the new congresswoman from Colorado, about a video that appears to show Boebert walking the streets of the capital city with a loaded gun.
“What I will say to that is, there are no exceptions in the District of Columbia,” said Chief Robert Contee III, when asked about the video at a press conference.
“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. And that congresswoman… will be subjected to the same penalties as anyone else that’s caught on a District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully.”
Nonresidents are prohibited from carrying guns in D.C. unless they register with the police department. Members of Congress can carry guns on the Capitol grounds, which is federal land, but not on the city streets of D.C. without a concealed carry permit. D.C. does not recognize permits from other states and territories.
Boebert’s office did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon but the Republican from Rifle told Colorado Public Radio that she takes gun laws “very seriously” and that she “will always be carrying my firearm lawfully.”
“I have gone through the concealed carry courses. There is a concealed carry permit for Washington, D.C. I have already gone through those courses. So, the D.C. chief of police is welcome to contact me,” Boebert told a CPR reporter.
“I don’t know if he’s contacting each and every person to make sure that they’re following all the traffic laws. If I said I was coming to drive in Washington, D.C., maybe he’d need to call me and let me know exactly what their traffic laws are. To think that I’m ignorant of D.C. carry laws just because I said I will carry is a little absurd.”
On Sunday, her first day in Congress, Boebert posted a three-minute video to her Twitter account which has been viewed millions of times. It shows Boebert loading a Glock, sliding it into a concealed hip holster, and walking the streets of the Capitol complex and elsewhere in D.C., including an alleyway, as she extolls the virtues of gun ownership. It’s not clear if she is carrying the gun the entire time.
“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 in the video.
“I will carry my firearm in D.C. and in Congress,” the congresswoman adds, citing her small stature and the capital city’s violent crime rates as reasons why. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was asked about Boebert’s criticism of the city’s crime during Monday’s press conference but demurred, saying she had not seen the video.
Guns are central to Boebert’s public and political persona. She made a name for herself on the Western Slope as the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle and kicked off her time in politics by telling then-presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke during a rally in Aurora that he would not be allowed to confiscate guns if elected.
Before being sworn in Sunday, she pushed back against an attempt by 21 House Democrats to prohibit members of Congress from carrying guns on the Capitol grounds. She and 82 other Republican members wrote a letter to House leadership opposing the change. The prohibition was not included in a House rules package.
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