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Lauren Boebert’s display of firearms at committee meeting triggers reaction

House member accuses panel of taking away rights
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert displayed personal firearms in the background of a virtual House Committee on Natural Resources meeting this week, sparking some reaction.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert drew attention this week after showing up to a virtual committee meeting with some of her personal firearms displayed in the background.

The House Committee on Natural Resources held an organizational meeting Thursday to discuss and put into place rules for the conduct of the committee and go over any amendments to the rules.

During the meeting, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., the committee’s ranking member, introduced an amendment to a rule that prohibits committee members from bringing firearms to meetings in person. All members of the House and the Senate are currently permitted to bring their firearms to Capitol Hill and in many different areas of the Capitol building, excluding the chamber and the surrounding areas.

Boebert, R-Colo., an outspoken gun rights advocate, had three large firearms and a handgun displayed behind her for the duration of the meeting. In discussing Westerman’s amendment, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., commented on Boebert’s background.

“If somebody wants to have a shrine to their gun fetish as a Zoom background in their private life, they can do that,” Huffman said. “But this is our hearing room, and at some point we will get past the COVID epidemic and we’ll all be showing up in person, and our safety and our ability to conduct business civilly without feeling threatened is a relevant consideration.”

Boebert responded in a tweet after the meeting:

“While creeps like @RepHuffman sit and fantasize about my so-called gun fetish, I am busy fighting against his fetish for power and stripping Americans of their Constitutional rights.”

During the meeting, Boebert expressed her support for the amendment and her disdain for the rule prohibiting firearms in committee meetings.

“Our first act as members of Congress was to take our oath of office, and please allow me to remind you: a portion of that oath – the chair and every other member here solemnly swore – was that we would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Boebert said. “The Second Amendment is very much a part of the Constitution of the United States.”

Boebert also asked how the rule would be enforced, whether its enforcement would require extra money provided by taxpayers and if the chairman of the committee, U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., would pay for personal security detail for every member who requests it because they would not have their firearms to protect themselves.

“I think this is just messaging on the part of the Democrats,” Boebert said. “It is unconstitutional for members of Congress to be detained on their way to vote. With that, I would like to say, are there any other enumerated rights that will be nullified in this committee?”

Boebert has continually pushed back against all safety precautions and restrictions against gun use in the Capitol building since the Jan. 6 insurrection.

In January, metal detectors were placed at the entrance to the Capitol after the insurrection. Boebert set off those detectors shortly after they were installed, after stating her intention to carry a firearm on the Capitol Hill campus.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C., and within the Capitol complex,” Boebert tweeted Jan. 12. “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.”

It was not determined whether it was a gun in her possession that set off the metal detectors that day.

The amendment was voted down and the rule to prohibit firearms in the hearing room for the House Natural Resources Committee stood, but the conversation about Boebert’s firearms continued.

Several commented on Boebert’s gun display via Twitter, as it picked up negative and positive attention nationally. One user said, “unsafe gun storage is no laughing matter.”

“Who says this is storage?” Boebert replied in a tweet. “These are ready for use.”

Boebert also continued to tweet about the committee rule that was allowed to stand without amendment.

“If @RepRaulGrijalva can take away my Second Amendment rights in the Natural Resources Committee, can he also take away my 19th Amendment right to vote as a woman?” Boebert wrote in a tweet. “Why do Dems think they can cherry pick the Second Amendment as the one enumerated right they can take away?”

Grace George is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C.

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