Republican lawmakers, including Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, are objecting to new metal detectors outside the U.S. House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said Tuesday that the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.
Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois was angry about the metal detectors and said valuable resources were being diverted in order to install the devices.
Several lawmakers simply walked around the devices. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said, “You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to a vote.”
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Rifle, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn’t clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse.
She refused to allow a search of her bag and eventually was let into the House chamber.
“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” Boebert tweeted. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”
Boebert was elected to Congress in November after running on a fiercely pro-gun platform. She is the owner of Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, where the wait staff is armed.
Boebert gained notoriety after confronting former Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke during an event two years ago in Aurora.
Boebert entered Congress just days ago, but already she is facing calls from Democrats to resign. The most stinging criticism, however, is coming from members of her own party, who are fuming about her actions before and during the siege in the U.S. Capitol.
Two Republican members of Congress raised concerns about her tweets from the House floor during the attack. Boebert tweeted that lawmakers were locked in the chamber and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been removed, The Hill reports.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California said officials told lawmakers not to post to social media during the chamber lockdown. He has said Boebert incited the violence that led to the deadly attack.
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, said Boebert’s actions are “disgraceful,” and that she is immoral and depraved.