She was only sworn in this past weekend, but Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is already making her mark on the nation’s capitol with her public pronouncements about exercising her right to carry. Boebert made waves several weeks ago when she announced that she’d be carrying her gun inside the Capitol, as lawmakers (but not the general public) have been allowed to do since the 1960s, prompting nearly two dozen Democrats to demand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi change the rules and disarm lawmakers.
Those anti-gun Democrats didn’t get their wish, but they did help to elevate Boebert’s profile in the media. This past weekend Boebert released a new video on social media where she discussed her plans to not only carry in the Capitol, but in D.C. itself, and reporters from media outlets like the Washington Post immediately headed for the fainting couch.
On Monday, the reaction came from police, not the press. The head of the Metropolitan Police Department told Politico that he plans on reaching out to the Colorado congresswoman to chat about her plans.
Chief Robert Contee III, when asked during a press conference about the newly elected Colorado lawmaker’s plan to carry a gun to the Capitol, said he wants to ensure that “she is aware of the what the laws of the District of Columbia are.”
“That Congresswoman will be subjected to the same penalties as anyone else that’s caught on the D.C. streets carrying a firearm,” Contee said.
I’m not sure why Contee assumed that Boebert was going to be violating the law when she said she planned on carrying. When Boebert joined me on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co a few weeks ago, she was very open about the fact that she was in the process of obtaining her D.C. carry license.
At the time, Boebert had already completed both the classroom training and range qualification for her carry license, but D.C.’s police chief made it sound like the congresswoman was just going to ignore District law and carry regardless of whether or not she’d obtained her carry license from the MPD.
Chief Contee has a lot of things to be concerned about in the District of Columbia, but Lauren Boebert isn’t one of them. The chief should be focused more on the 16-year high in homicides in D.C. in 2020, none of which appear to have been committed by a concealed carry holder, much less a freshman member of Congress.
Contee’s attitude is evidence that the anti-gun mentality that led to Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns back in the 1970s is still alive and well today, despite courts rejecting several of the District’s gun control measures. Not only was D.C.’s handgun ban struck down by SCOTUS in 2008 in the Heller case, but the city’s “may issue” concealed carry law was tossed out by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Rather than fight that loss at the Supreme Court, D.C. politicians decided to drop the requirement that applicants demonstrate a “good cause” to obtain a license.
As Boebert noted in our interview, there are still plenty of hurdles that the District has put before those who want to obtain a carry license. For example, there are no public ranges in D.C., so applicants must travel to Virginia or Maryland in order to qualify with their firearm, which is going to be difficult for D.C. residents that don’t own their own vehicle and a time-consuming burden even for those who do.
Lauren Boebert navigated the maze of red tape built by D.C. bureaucrats, but it’s clear that the authorities in the District would prefer there be as few concealed carry holders as possible inside the city. The Metropolitan Police Department has been accused of sitting on gun permit and carry applications for extended periods of time over the past year, and the chief’s attempted chiding of Boebert and her plans isn’t doing anything to improve the department’s image when it comes to respecting the Second Amendment or law-abiding gun owners.
I suspect that Boebert released her video this past weekend knowing full well the reaction that it would get among the powers that be in Washington, D.C. It was a bit of trolling on the part of the congresswoman as well as a pledge to defend the Second Amendment rights of Americans while serving in Congress, and she clearly hit the bullseye with her outspoken embrace of the right to keep and bear arms in a city that’s long been hostile to the idea of armed self-defense.