Newly elected members of Congress haven’t even started yet, but that hasn’t stopped QAnon fans Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene from pulling a bit of a stunt—one that’s a good preview of what their wild and, god willing, brief time in Congress may look like. As the Associated Press reported, Boebert—whose successful campaign was built heavily around her outsized love of guns and who owns a gimmicky restaurant in Colorado where staff famously openly carry firearms—has asked officials if she can carry her beloved Glock on Capitol Hill.
From the AP:
Boebert asked Capitol Police officials about carrying her weapon when she and other House freshmen taking office in January were in town recently for orientation programs, according to two congressional officials. Both people — a Democrat and a Republican — spoke on condition of anonymity to describe her request.
Aides to Boebert, who Trump endorsed as “a fighter” who will “never bow down to the establishment in Congress,” did not make her available for an interview.
“This was a private discussion and inquiry about what the rules are, and as a result the Congresswoman-Elect won’t be going on the record,” Boebert aide Laura Carno said in an email last week.
While Boebert refused to go on the record for the AP story, like any good publicity-hungry troll, she used the story to send out this message on Twitter:
Of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Boebert’s fellow gun enthusiast and rightwing conspiracy theorist, decided to offer her own opinion. “Not only do I support members of Congress carrying a firearm, I believe every American has that right.” Greene wrote in a statement to the AP, adding, “I will work every day to end ALL gun free zones.”
But the halls of Congress aren’t exactly a “gun free zone.” As the AP noted, members of Congress are allowed to have guns while at work, “with some limitations, under decades-old congressional regulations.” And according to Democratic Representative Jared Huffman, who mounted an unsuccessful campaign in 2018 to ban his fellow elected officials from carrying guns while at work, there are already quite a few of his colleagues who are packing while on Capitol Hill. Via the AP:
He said members and their staffs carry firearms around the Capitol “all the time,” though he mentioned no names. He said lawmakers keep guns in their publicly accessible offices, though building entry has been limited due to COVID-19.
“Members could have a loaded AK47 sitting on their desk and no one would ever do anything about it,” Huffman said.
Don’t give Greene or Boebert any ideas, please! And of course, there’s a darker, aspect to their stunt—both Boebert and Greene pitched themselves as a sort of rightwing Republican answer to the Squad, with Greene in particular promising violence against the progressive rising stars of the Democratic Party. The idea of the two arming themselves in Congress is both a political statement and yet another threat to the politicians who are now their coworkers.