The House Natural Resources Committee shot down a rules amendment on Wednesday that would have prohibited members from carrying guns into its hearing room.
The amendment was proposed by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), who claimed it was needed because Republicans on the Rules Committee removed a former Democrat provision that banned guns in hearing rooms and committees.
It's a "major issue of safety for members of our committee," Huffman said, calling the amendment "sadly necessary."
Republicans also removed the metal detectors installed by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) outside the House chambers after the January 6 Capitol breach to scan members for weapons.
"To be clear, members and their staff are already prohibited by law from carrying guns into the hearing rooms and conference rooms of this Capitol. Currently, under statute and Capitol Police Board regulation, members are supposed to have firearms only in their offices," Huffman said.
"This does not allow for carrying firearms into hearing rooms and doesn't allow for walking around the Capitol with a loaded weapon. But we know some members think these rules do not apply to them," he added.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who said she would carry a gun into the Capitol, said during the hearing that Huffman was "anti-safety" and that his amendment was a "political stunt." She punctuated her remarks with an enlarged photo of Huffman in a tin-foil hat.
Boebert pulls up this poster and says “looks my colleague forget his tin foil hat so I brought this to remind” pic.twitter.com/UPbdQCXFlb
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) February 1, 2023
"With threats against members of Congress at an all-time high, now is not the time to be stripping members of our constitutional right to defend ourselves," Boebert also said.
When the January 6 breach was brought up, Boebert said she did not have a firearm in the Capitol that day, as per the rules, and felt unprotected.
"It was the first time in many, many years that I have been unprotected. I was disarmed, not unarmed, disarmed, because I was not allowed to possess my firearm," Boebert said.
Huffman and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asked the committee members whether any of them intended to bring firearms into the hearing room going forward.
Rep. Tom McClintock, (R-CA) then asked them whether they have "reason to believe there's a homicidal maniac amongst us. Who do you not trust to bring a firearm into a committee room?"
Ocasio-Cortez didn't name any names, but said, "I believe from what I've witnessed the competence of some members may be something I'm willing to question."