Republicans refuse to go through metal detectors set up inside Capitol following deadly riots

James Crump
·3-min read
<p>US Capitol Police install a metal detector at the doors of the House of Representatives Chamber on 12 January 2021 in Washington, DC.</p> ((Getty Images))

US Capitol Police install a metal detector at the doors of the House of Representatives Chamber on 12 January 2021 in Washington, DC.

((Getty Images))

Several Republican representatives have complained about the metal detectors used as people enter the House floor, which were ordered by speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, in the wake of the Capitol riots.

Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Van Taylor of Texas, were among several Republicans seen not complying with the new safety check, according to numerous media reports.

The Republican representatives complained, or in some cases refused to use the metal detectors, while entering the House on Tuesday evening to vote on a motion calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office, according to NBC News.

Ms Boebert, who recently said she would carry a gun in the Capitol, was reportedly seen arguing with police about having to go through the metal detectors.

CNN Washington correspondent Ryan Nobles wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening that Ms Boebert was “in a standoff with Capitol Police at the newly installed metal detectors outside the chamber doors”.

Mr Nobles added: “Boebert walked through with her bag which set off the mags. She refused to offer the bag over to be searched and is now in a standoff with Cap Police.”

Ms Boebert was later let into the chamber, but it is currently unclear how the dispute was settled.

Following the incident on Tuesday evening, Ms Boebert tweeted: “I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, DC and within the Capitol complex.”

She added: “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.”

Despite Ms Boebert’s claims, representatives have been informed that “firearms are restricted to a member's office”.

Mr Taylor also refused to pass through the metal detectors, while Mr Davis told House minority leader Steny Hoyer that the new security measure was “b******t”, according to NBC.

He added: “The threat is not on the interior side of the building. You are taking valuable resources completely away from where it needs to be. And you guys did it without any consultation with the minority.”

Arizona representative Debbie Lesko also criticised the safety check, tweeting: “For members of Congress to enter the floor of the US House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through.

“These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!”

The dispute over the detectors spilled onto the House floor on Tuesday, as Florida representative Greg Steube described them as an “atrocity” during arguments on the motion regarding the 25th Amendment.

He continued: “Take note, America” and added: “This is what you have to look forward to in the Joe Biden administration.”

A mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the House on Wednesday 6 January, after being incited by Mr Trump at a rally held nearby.

Dozens of representatives were forced to lockdown, as they barricaded themselves in offices to hide from the rioters, some of whom were carrying guns and other weapons.

At least five people died and numerous others were injured in the riots. No representatives were among the casualties.

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