Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has been granted a conceal and carry permit by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), according to Acting Chief Robert Contee Thursday.
The freshman Congresswoman released a video in early January citing self-defense and the Second Amendment. At a Feb. 4 press conference, Contee said that although the video allowed viewers to infer she was armed, Boebert never displayed a weapon.
Contee responded to the video at a press conference saying that there were “no exceptions” to the law that nonresidents of DC are not allowed to carry firearms without a permit.
Boebert, a conservative in the House of Representatives and a Second Amendment advocate, said when she was elected she did not plan on giving up her guns.
“Even though I work in one of the most liberal cities in America I refuse to give up my rights; especially my second amendment rights,” Boebert said in the video.
Boebert went on to say that she walks to work alone every morning and carries her firearm to “protect herself legally” in the Capitol Hill residential neighborhood.
“DC is one of the top 10 most dangerous cities in our country,” Boebert said, without providing a source. “Homicide rates and violent crimes are skyrocketing here.”
District residents, however, took to Twitter to dispute Boebert’s claims about the safety of the neighborhood.
“Just hoping Congresswoman Bobert doesn’t whirl around and shoot me if I accidentally jostle her at the dry cleaner,” one resident tweeted. “Oh, and we have children here riding their bikes on the sidewalks. They aren’t tiny terrorists.”
Another Tweet echoed the claims of hundreds of comments and threads.
“Only reason (you’re) walking around DC with a gun because you’re scared[.] I’ve been here 64 years I don’t need a gun! U look for trouble Ms.,” the tweet reads.
Contee addressed the status of Boebert’s permit in the Thursday situational update and confirmed that Bobert was issued a permit after submitting an application.
“A conceal and carry permit was issued in that case,” Contee said.
Contee stated that anyone can obtain a permit if they complete the application process and are approved which Boebert was.
“If citizens are allowed to carry, they are issued a permit and in this case she was allowed to carry and issued a permit,” Contee said.
While Boebert’s video made headlines earlier in the month, Contee acknowledged that there are likely many members of Congress with these permits. He said he is “unsure” of the number of other members of Congress that have permits that allow them to carry firearms in Washington, but given that thousands of permits have been issued, said he is “certain that there are probably others.”
A 1967 regulation exempts members of Congress from a federal law banning firearms on the Capitol grounds. In the wake of the events of Jan. 6, anyone entering the House floor, including members, are required to undergo screening. As part of those measures, Roll Call reported that magnetometers were installed outside the House floor Jan. 12.
However, members are still permitted to keep weapons in their offices.
The office of Rep. Lauren Boebert declined to respond to Hill Rag request for comment in time for publication.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: An earlier version of this story shortened the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to the Metro Police Department, potentially creating confusion between the District force and the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) which has responsibility for a variety of law enforcement and public safety functions in transit facilities throughout the wider DMV. The Hill Rag apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.