A newly elected Republican congresswoman released an ad saying she intends to carry a handgun with her around Washington, DC, and wound up on the radar of the Metropolitan Police Department.
"I will carry my firearm in DC and in Congress," Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert says in the ad. "It's our job in Congress to defend your rights, including your Second Amendment, and that's exactly what I'm here to do."
But police Chief Robert Contee III said the freshman lawmaker would be "subjected to the same penalties for everyone else that's caught on the District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully."
It's unclear whether Boebert actually carried a concealed Glock handgun around the city or to Capitol Hill, which the ad alludes to. It's also unknown if the weapon has been registered with DC police, per city law.
The police chief of Washington, DC, said on Monday that the Metropolitan Police Department intended to contact newly elected GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert after she talked about carrying a handgun around the city.
"We plan to reach out to the congresswoman's office to make sure that she is aware of what the laws of the District of Columbia are, what the restrictions are," police Chief Robert Contee III said during a news conference.
The freshman lawmaker will be "subjected to the same penalties for everyone else that's caught on the District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully," Contee added.
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The remarks came after Boebert, who was sworn into office on Sunday, released an ad that same evening in which she appeared to walk around Capitol Hill with a concealed Glock handgun.
"I will carry my firearm in DC and in Congress," she says in the video. "It's our job in Congress to defend your rights, including your Second Amendment, and that's exactly what I'm here to do."
—Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 4, 2021
Open carry is illegal in Washington, DC, and gun owners must register their firearms with the DC police and obtain a permit should they choose to carry concealed firearms. But members of Congress are allowed to have guns in their offices and carry them on Capitol grounds because of a regulation from 1967.
Boebert, who made gun rights a central issue of her 2020 campaign, wrote a letter to House leadership last week with the support of 82 fellow GOP lawmakers pushing to keep the 1967 rule in place. They were responding to House Democrats' recent call for lawmakers to be barred from carrying guns on Capitol Hill.
"I choose to defend my family and my life with all of the force the Constitution provides," she said.
Boebert, a staunch conservative representing Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, owns a restaurant called Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, where waitstaff openly carry firearms. The 34-year-old joins a slate of freshman Republican women serving in the House.
It's unclear whether Boebert has actually carried her firearm around Washington, DC, or to the Capitol. It's also unknown if the weapon has been registered with DC police.
Boebert's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, DC, said at the Monday news conference that she hadn't yet seen Boebert's video but called the issue at hand "serious business."
"We should all take very seriously an American's ability to exercise" their rights, she said, but "we have a serious threat onto our democracy right now, that the will of American people, through a fair and just election, is being questioned and violence is being incited."
Last month, violence broke out in Washington, DC, during protests against President Donald Trump's election loss. Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, were at the scene and plan to be in the city again on Wednesday for another pro-Trump rally.
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