In the newest and perhaps most-novel attempt to create a “gun-free” zone, metal detectors have been erected at various entrances to the Congressional House floor in response to the Capitol breach last week.
“Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) told reporters. “It’s just another political stunt.”
Boebert, who has often been in the spotlight for her pro-Second Amendment views, told Fox News shortly after last week’s siege on the Capitol that she had followed the rules and not brought her gun onto the House floor. Thus, she found herself unarmed during the event.
“It was just like this ‘I told you so’ moment,” Boebert said. “I wish that I would have just not listened. Because my life is worth defending. The people next to me, their lives are worth defending. Then to not have the ability to do so, it's very discomforting.”
Boebert noted she believes the metal detectors put members’ lives at further risk: “Just to limit the ability to protect your life. … it’s terrible.”
The new metal detectors are situated in such a way that people can easily walk around them, and, according to news reports, several representatives have done exactly that. Boebert herself reportedly set off the alarms and refused to hand over her bag to be searched. She did gain access to the House floor after tripping the alarm, but it was unclear whether she had ultimately consented to her bag being searched.The current rule for members is that they may be armed in the Capitol, but not everywhere within it, including not on the House floor. Twenty representatives attempted to change the rules before the start of this Congress to prevent members from having guns at the Capitol entirely, but Boebert and 82 other members objected. When unveiled, the new rules did not include further restrictions on firearms.