WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican lawmakers are objecting to new metal detectors outside the House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said Tuesday that the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.
Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois was angry about the metal detectors and said valuable resources were being diverted in order to install the devices.
Several lawmakers simply walked around the devices. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said, “You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to a vote.”
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn’t clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse.
Boebert refused to allow a search of her bag and eventually was let into the House chamber.
Later, in a tweet, the Colorado congresswoman defended her actions and called the installment of the metal detectors a political stunt.
“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” said Boebert. “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.”
However, in a letter obtained by The Washington Post, acting House sergeant-at-arms Timothy Blodgett reminded lawmakers that “firearms are restricted to a member’s office.” He added that failing to comply with this could result in denial of access to the chamber.