(CBS4/CNN) – Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert was refused entry at the House Chamber in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday after she refused to allow Capitol police to search her bag. Police recently installed metal detectors outside the doors following violent and deadly protests at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Boebert, a Republican representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, caused controversy when she stated she would still carry her weapon on Capitol Hill.
CNN reports Boebert was eventually let inside, but it’s not clear if her bag was searched.
“It is a shame that Nancy Pelosi is trying to disarm Members of Congress in the very place that needed more protection on January 6,” Boebert said in a statement. “It is clear metal detectors would not have deterred the violent acts we saw; this political stunt does nothing to improve the safety of Members in the Capitol complex.”
Let me tell you why I WILL carry my Glock to Congress.
Government does NOT get to tell me or my constituents how we are allowed to keep our families safe.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 4, 2021
In a memo to Congressmembers from the Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett, “Members are reminded that pursuant to the firearms regulations that Members received on opening day, firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office.”
The District has strict gun laws and Washington’s police chief has warned the congresswoman that she is subject to the same laws as everyone else in the nation’s capital.
Boebert’s entire statement she released Tuesday reads, “It is a shame that Nancy Pelosi is trying to disarm Members of Congress in the very place that needed more protection on January 6th. It is clear metal detectors would not have deterred the violent acts we saw; this political stunt does nothing to improve the safety of Members in the Capitol complex. It is also quite ironic that some have taken my tweets out of context to falsely accuse me of endangering Speaker Pelosi, that she now telegraphs to the entire world that Members of Congress cannot defend themselves in the House Chamber. As I have said in previous statements, I will comply with all applicable firearm laws and regulations. I want to again thank the brave men and women of the Capitol Police for their service and for keeping us safe.”
Other Republican congressman also had negative reactions to the metal detectors.
“This is crap right here. You can put that down,” said Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, who called the metal detectors the “stupidest thing” as he walked through them.
Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, both Republicans, erupted at Capitol Police.
“I was physically restrained!” Womack shouted. “It’s my constitutional right!” cried Mullin.
Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, also a Republican, told Mullin not to shout at Capitol Police.
“This is not their fault, they’re doing their job,” Davis said.
But Davis, a top Republican on the House administration committee, told CNN he’s “pissed” that the magnetometers have gone up without any consultation. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise told CNN the situation is “untenable” because it “impedes the ability of members to come and vote. This is our job.”
Capitol Police eventually waved several lawmakers through without making them go through the magnetometers.
House Democrats, however, have told CNN they are worried about some of their Republican colleagues and that there have been multiple conversations about the need for every member of Congress and their guests to start going through metal detectors. Several worry lawmakers are ignoring House rules regarding firearms.
Referring to Boebert, freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and others, one House Democrat described to CNN “increasing tensions with certain incoming freshmen for months, who have been insistent on bringing firearms in violation of law and guidelines.”
“There are concerns about the gun-toting members, but also we don’t know who they’re going to bring to the inauguration who can bypass the metal detectors,” another House Democrat said. “Until there’s an investigation and until we understand our colleagues’ level of complicity in the attack, we don’t know how involved they really were. Until we have answers, I don’t think we should trust them — not all of them of course, but some of them.”
Some Democrats aren’t happy about the metal detectors, either.
“I’m more likely to die of COVID because I got it from a colleague than I am to die because a colleague shoots me,” Texas Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat, told CNN.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)